We often hear tips for keeping pets safe during the summer with issues such as dehydration and heat exhaustion being a concern, but how about in the winter? We’ve compiled a list below of tips for keeping your pets safe during the winter, especially during the extreme cold we’re experiencing currently here in Indiana. Of course, always consult your veterinarian with any questions or to seek professional guidance!
Towel-dry your pet as soon as coming back inside from a walk
Remember being a kid and coming in from playing in the snow with freezing cold hands, despite the gloves you were wearing? If you’re like me, you instantly went over to the register to warm your hands up over the heat and every time, your hands got unbearably itchy and you regretted it instantly! Well, the same can happen with your pet’s paws. To avoid itchy, flaky skin, be sure to towel-dry your pet as soon as they come inside. Be thorough with this and get in between their toes!
Be wary of cold weather chemicals
De-icing chemicals, antifreeze, salt…these are all things that we don’t have to worry about walking on thanks to our warm winter boots. But for your pet, they can present a real danger and can irritate the paws. After walks, it is important to clean any area of your pet that may have been exposed to these chemicals in order to avoid irritation. Be sure to look over your pet’s paws for any redness between the toes or cracking.
Consult your veterinarian on winter grooming
Some long-haired pups typically require a regular shaving, but in the winter months this may not be necessary. We’re not the experts on this, so we recommend checking with your veterinarian to make sure that you’re following the correct guidelines for your specific breed. And if your pet is naturally short-haired, winter jackets are always an option for added warmth! Plus they’re adorable. So, win-win.
Water, water, water!
Water is always key to survival, and it is equally important in the winter months. Making sure that your pet stays well-hydrated is one way that you can help keep their skin from drying out. And P.S. this goes for humans too, so go drink some water, you!
Rule of thumb: If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them!
We often hear the reverse of this in the summer, but it applies in the winter as well. If you’d be cold after being outside for an extended period of time, so is your pet! And as in the summer months, your car is not a good place for your pet to be left. Cars can actually hold in the cold air and reach freezing temperatures very quickly.
Whether you have two legs or four, we hope you are staying nice and warm this winter!