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Jan 11

Winter Pet Care

…Gone away is the bluebird… here to stay is a new bird…He sings a love song…as we go along…walking in a winter wonderland…

Imagine yourself, bundled up, taking Fido out for a walk on a cold winter’s night, snow everywhere, whistling this dog sitting in the snowclassic winter theme song… it is all so idyllic!

But is it ideal for Fido?

Maybe not. Our pets always seem so robust and able to weather any storm but actually, they need special considerations to be able to deal with frigid winter temperatures. Here are some of our top tips for keeping your beloved pets happy and healthy this cold season:

Outdoors

  • If your dog is an outdoor dog, ensure there is a dry warm shelter for cold winter nights
  • Animals keeping warm burn more calories so will need more food; ensure water bowls have not frozen
  • Keep fur between toes trimmed as it can attract snow and ice, watch for signs of frostbite there and on ears and tips of tails too; Consider getting a coat and booties
  • Sidewalk and driveway salt is very hard on paws so wipe them off often
  • Be aware of streams and lakes that look frozen but could be hazardous

Indoors

  • Winter weather warnings should apply to pets as well; bring animals indoors when it is freezing. Make sure cat and dog doors are not frozen shut.
  • Seasonal features – such as plants like poinsettias and holly and space heaters and fireplaces – can be dangerous
  • Be aware of the impact of winter drafts on smaller caged animals such as birds
  • Animals stuck indoors will sleep more and exercise less so adjust food to reflect needed calorie intake

In-between

  • The garage should be off limits in winter as antifreeze can be deadly for your animals and cats have a tendency to slip under car hoods for the warmth of the engine
  • When out, cars can become like refrigerator so leaving your dog in the car is not a good idea

And if you cannot bear the thought of walks with Fido because it is just too cold for you, look for some help from a pet sitter in your local area who can help with the full range of your pet care needs.

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