It seems that every year there is that one morning that I grab my keys, head out the door, and turn right back around to dig out a jacket. Let’s face it: the days are getting colder. For some of us, that might be great. We need to look out for out furry ones, however. Pet owners should follow some basic precautions.
* Many pets, especially those that DO go outside, need a lot more food in the winter because they need the energy. Increase the food intake, especially protein.
* Pets should not be outdoors 24/7 during the winter months. Just like humans, pets can get sick and get frostbite. Ears are especially susceptible. If you can’t bring them indoors, appropriate and adequate shelter should be provided to shelter animals from the elements- high winds, low temperatures. Keep a blanket or something similar available there, as well.
* Do you have neighborhood cats? Bang on the hood of your car before you get going in the morning. One might be sleeping under it!
* Don’t shave your pet in the winter! The extra fur keeps him or her warmer! If your pet is small and/or short-haired, seriously consider a pet sweater- even for short trips outside.
* Antifreeze is poisonous, but it sometimes attracts pets to lick it… keep it cleaned up and try to use non-poisonous alternatives.
* Make sure fresh water is always available! For pets that are outside full time or only get water outside, break and remove ice every time they go out or invest in a water heater.
* If you live near a body of water, be aware. Your pet could easily decide it would be good fun to cross, break the ice, and fall in.
* Does your pet have joint problems? Keep a close eye on him or her, because the cold is especially harsh on them.
I hope you and all of your loved ones enjoy a calm and beautiful winter (crossing MY fingers!) and I hope you find some of these tips helpful!