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It's a bit chilly outside, isn't it? While the colder months can bring many fun activities and events, it can also bring some new outdoor elements to be prepared for with our pets. Keeping our pets warm and safe in the colder months is important for their overall health. In this post we'll be sharing five ways to keep your pet warm in cold weather.
Depending on where you live and how cold it gets, you may want to invest in a dog coat for your pup. Small and short-haired breeds can benefit highly from wearing a good dog coat or sweater in the colder months and senior dogs can also benefit from having extra cold-weather apparel since they can have bigger reactions to changes in the weather.
If you have a northern dog that is more acclimated for colder temperatures with longer coats, like a Husky for example, you may want to avoid putting a coat on them as they have the chance of overheating with the extra layer.
As it gets colder, the best way to keep your pet warm and safe is to limit their time outdoors. Like us, dogs run the risk of frostbite on sensitive areas like their ears, nose and paw pads since they are exposed.
If you plan on heading outside, ensure that they are properly dressed (we have another tip on that coming next), they're being active, and the overall time is shortened.
Speaking of going outside, this next tip is in two parts. First, in the colder months, ensure that you are keeping your dog's paw pads clean, wiped down, and trimmed if needed. Ice, snow, salt and toxic chemicals like antifreeze can build up on your dog's paws and cause serious damage (including death if your dog licks antifreeze on their paws after walking on it).
In addition to keeping your dog's paw pads clean, you can also protect them by investing in a pair dog boots to limit the interaction between ice, salt, chemicals and any debris. There are many dog boot brands out there, but one that makes dog boots specifically for Winter is Ruffwear. You can check out their winter dog boots here.
Do you see stray cats from time to time near your home (feral or outdoor cats owned by neighbors)? Many cats burrow themselves inside of car engines in colder months to stay warm, which can lead to extremely unfortunate situations such as death. Make sure to check your car by hitting the hood a few times to ensure they leave your car before turning it on.
To help keep them safe and warm, you can provide a comfy shelter for them in the colder months with a few quick and inexpensive items. Here's a helpful article from Neighborhood Cats that contains many ways to create shelters for cats as well as store bought options and other important tips.
Last but not least, do not shave down your dog's coats. A longer coat will provide more warmth in these colder months. If you have a long-haired breed, doing small trims to prevent any ice from clinging to their fur plus the paw pad trims mentioned earlier will keep them safe and warm.
We hope you're already feeling warmer after reading this post! If you're unsure of any of the suggestions above with your pet specifically, we recommend consulting your groomer, veterinarian or local animal shelter if you're helping protect outdoor animals.