Tips for Keeping your Pet Safe During Winter
Protect their paws.
During winter most icy sidewalks get cleared with salt. Salt works great on the ice, but not so great with your pet. Salt can irritate your pet’s paws, and even worse, it’s toxic. So if your dog licks his paws he could ingest it.
What to do?
Thankfully there is plenty you can do to protect their paws:
- Apply Mushers Secret. Mushers is like an invisible boot for your dog. It provides a wax barrier between your pup and the ground surface.
- Throw on some booties. Booties not only protect paws from the ice, but they add a layer of warmth.
- Wipe their paws. At the very least be sure to wipe your pup’s paws each time they come inside to remove irritants and toxins.
Use a coat or sweater.
Did you know that some dogs have been bred out of having a heavy winter coat? That means unless your dog is defined as a snow dog they are not meant to be in cold temperatures for long periods of time.
A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you to be outside without a coat then it’s too cold for your dog too. So throw your pup in a fleece or jacket.
Just because you put your pooch in a jacket doesn’t mean you can then just throw him outside. Always watch how long they are outdoors and make sure they always have protective shelter.
Track your dog’s weight.
Want to know if you’re dog is too cold? Track his or her weight. When dogs are cold they shiver more, therefore they burn more calories. If your pup is losing weight during cold months you might want to feed him more (or get him a winter jacket).
Don’t use metal water dishes outside.
Metal water dishes can freeze and your dog’s tongue can get stuck to the dish. If you keep water outside use a plastic or porcelain dish. Or use a heated dog waterer.
Check your fence.
Rising snow levels make it easier for your pet to escape a fenced yard. Look at the corners of your fence after a big snowfall to make sure your pet can’t use the piles of snow to get out.
Beware of antifreeze
Always clean up antifreeze if you spill it. It’s toxic to dogs and cats, yet they are extremely attracted to it. It’s up to us to keep our pets safe.
Protect pets from heating surfaces.
During winter we need to keep the house warm. Whether you use panel heat, portable heaters or a wood stove, be sure to keep your pets away from hot surfaces.
*Special caution for cat owners and all vehicle owners. Cats will find warmth easily when the temperature drops, and unfortunately that could come in the form of a car engine. Bang on the hood of your car to scare away any cats that could be getting cozy. (Or any wildlife for that matter).