However thick and heavy the fur coat of your pet is, it doesn’t keep them as warm as it should during the cold winter months. Just the way you prepare for winter for you and your family should be the same way you take care of your pet. Your pet might get chilly and likely to experience frostbite and low body temperatures just like you do. Before checking out the tips for keeping your pet warm, let us understand the two most common conditions that affect pets during winter.
This condition begins when the pet’s body becomes cold. When this happens, the pet’s body pulls blood from the body’s extremities and pools it at the center of the body to keep the pet warm. The extremities – the ears, tail and paws in turn get icy cold, leading to tissue damage. The worst thing about this phenomenon is that it isn’t always so obvious, which means you have to watch out for tell-tale signs such as a greying skin that is as hard as it is cold.
This is the second winter concern that you need to watch out for. This happens when you expose the dog to cold weather for prolonged periods. When mild, the pet shivers, and its extremities get cold. As the condition progresses, the pet shows signs of depression, weakness and lethargy. As it worsens, the pet’s muscles become stiff, the breathing and heartrate slow down and it doesn’t respond to normal stimuli. Anything worse than this and you might end up losing the pet.
The good news is that it is easy to keep your pet safe during these cold months. Here are some measures to make sure your best friend is safe and warm.
Cut Down on Outdoor Time
No pet is meant to spend prolonged time in the winter cold. Remember, the pet has a thick coat but the coat doesn’t cover all the body parts. For most pets, their ears are fully exposed while their paws are in direct contact with the ground. Their nose is also exposed to the draft. Therefore, never leave these pets unattended in the snow for prolonged periods; only take them out when they need to exercise or when necessary. If you are taking them for a walk, shorten the distance.
Keep Him Warm
If your pet has short hair or is small in size, try to keep the pet warm in the outdoors. Older pets and smaller pets have less fur on their coats and will freeze faster than pets with more hair. Make sure you cover them when you are out with them in the street. If the temperature is too cold for comfort, then it is better not to go outside. Additionally, if the winter comes when the pet has shed its coat, then you need to add some more protein and fat to their diet.
Humans tend to develop cracks in the feet during winter. Pets also suffer cracks during this season. This is as a result of ice building up between its pads. Salt used to melt the snow can burn the pads and make it dry up and crack. Additionally, you don’t want the dog to lick the paws and take in the salt, which is toxic. Therefore, always wipe the paws whenever the dog comes from outside. You can go the extra mile to use pet booties to protect their paws.
Pets dehydrate quickly during winter just like in the summer. Many of them will consume snow, but this isn’t enough to hydrate them as it isn’t a substitute for clean water. Make sure the pet has unrestricted access to a bowl of clean water, and check often to prevent ice from forming on top.
Use a Pet Heated Bed
You can use a heated bed and pad to keep the pet warm throughout the night. This gives you the peace of mind you need. These beds use minimum energy and you can leave them on for the whole night without any worries. You get to choose from a wide range of sizes and colors to suit your pet. Check out PetNap for the available options.
As it is the case with many things that regard our pets, you need a little thought and preparation for winter. Keep your pets warm and safe all the time using these tips. Additionally, be on the lookout for signs that suggest a problem with the pet, especially signs that point to hypothermia or frostbite.