When it’s bitter cold outside, you rely on your heating system to stay warm. If you have pets, they probably appreciate your heating system too! Cats and dogs experience the cold weather much in the same way as people do. But, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure your pet is as safe as possible during the cold. The ASPCA offers some safety tips that will help your pet stay comfy, cozy and healthy this winter.
Nine Tips to Ensure Pet Safety this Winter
- Walking your dog is necessary, even in the chilliest weather. But that can lead to itchy, flaky skin. Having a home humidifier can help, as well as making sure you towel-dry your pet’s coat – and especially their feet!
- Keep grooming to a minimum. Of course, brush your pet, bathe them when necessary, and if needed, keep them neatly trimmed. But reserve close haircuts for the summer months. If your dog is short-haired, a coat or sweater can help keep them warm during trips outdoors.
- As mentioned above, bathe only when needed. If your pet must be bathed, choose a pet shampoo and conditioner specially formulated to moisturize.
- Always make sure your pet’s paws are in healthy condition. Ice, snow and melting agents can affect your pet’s foot pads. After each walk, make sure to clean their feet and check for any cracks or redness.
- Give your furry friend a “pet-icure.” Massage petroleum jelly or pad protectant into your pet’s feet. This helps them stay moisturized and acts as a barrier between harmful salt and chemicals. To further protect your pet, consider outfitting them in booties for outdoor adventures, and choose a pet-friendly ice melt for use at your home.
- Be aware of antifreeze spills. Unfortunately, animals are drawn to the taste of antifreeze, and it is lethal. Clean up any spills as soon as you notice them.
- Giving your pet extra food or snacks in the winter won’t make them gain weight – in fact, it’s good for them to indulge in a little extra. That’s because animals expend a lot of energy staying warm in the winter. Make sure your pet stays hydrated, too!
- Keep sleeping spaces warm and cozy, away from cold and drafts. They love a nice, warm pet bed with an extra blanket or pillow.
- If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s too cold for your pet. Just like people, animals can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. And, like cars become ovens in the summer, they become refrigerators in the winter. It’s best to keep your pet home during cold weather, and they definitely should not be left in a vehicle.
T.F. O’Brien can keep you – and your pets – warm all winter long.
At T.F. O’Brien, we’re dedicated to keeping your home comfy, cozy and safe for both you and your furry companions. If you need help with home heating this winter, give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to keep Fido, Fluffy and the whole family comfortable, no matter how cold it gets outside!