As the cooler weather sets in, preparing your pets for the incoming cold is an important step you need to take. Most pets will acclimate easily if they have time to slowly become accustomed to the changing climate. Use these tips to help your fur babies with an easy transition into the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
Protect their Feet
Imagine having to go outside in the snow with no shoes on. Sounds miserable, right? Imagine how your pet feels after extended periods of time outside in the cold. An article written for baxterboo.com states, “Pet feet can be affected in multiple ways by cold weather. Autumn and winter walks are often wet with rain or dew. Salt or chemicals used to melt the snow are often present on the sidewalks and roads. Your dog and cat can pick up a lot of moisture and debris during walks or while playing outside.” Also, make sure you keep the hair around their paws appropriately trimmed. It will help you keep them dry and protected.
Keep them Fed and Hydrated
When it’s cold outside, staying hydrated can be a challenge for pets. Cold water in cold weather sounds pretty unappetizing. However, once your pet warms up, they should resume their water intake. Dehydration during winter is extremely common. Make sure your pets have a warm shelter where they can regulate their body temperatures. Also, offer them extra food. Their bodies are working overtime to keep themselves warm. They will likely be a little hungrier than normal. Additionally, a little extra food may help them add some fat to their bodies which will also help keep them warm. A win-win no matter how you think of it!
Keep them Warm
This can mean adding an extra blanket in their beds or purchasing sweaters and booties for them to wear. Baxterboo.com says, “Not every animal has a thick, wooly coat to keep warm, so keep an eye on your pet’s behavior when it gets cold outside. Dogs will often allow you to slip them into a coat or cozy sweater when it gets really cold. Just be sure to choose something that fits well and doesn’t restrict movements.”
Ask your Vet
When in doubt, ask your vet about any questions or concerns you have for your pet. They will be able to tell you the amount of time outside your pet can handle without risking hypothermia, how much you should increase their food, tips for keeping their ears clean/dry and so much more. Utilize your vet’s expertise in order to make sure your pet is happy and comfortable during the colder months.
When you take the necessary precautions to secure your pet’s comfort during fall and winter, you are ensuring their health throughout the rest of the year. Cold weather can be hard on animals. Acclimating them to the weather changes is a courtesy they will appreciate more than you know.