To Bundle, or Not to Bundle? Keeping Pets Warm and Comfortable this Winter

Keeping pets warm during the winter is part of winter pet safety

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild winter this year, but let’s face it, here in Chicagoland, the winter is never really “mild.” Regardless of the howling winds, subzero temperatures, and mounds of snow, Fido still needs his daily walk and potty breaks.

While we certainly know how to bundle ourselves up to stay warm, what about our pets? When it comes to keeping pets warm this winter, The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have a few ideas!

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

 

Old Man Winter may be in town, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the Great Outdoors with the family pet.  If you are going to be spending time outside, however, there are some special precautions that must be taken in order to ensure everyone has a great time!  Take the following into account when spending time in the elements this winter:

  • Be sure that your pet has access to water.  Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean hydration is not necessary.  Don’t forget that many water sources freeze in the winter.
  • Pay attention to the paws!  Your pet’s paws may become sore or even cut when walking on frozen ground and ice.  You might consider investing in some protective doggy boots if trekking for long periods in these conditions.
  • Many ice-melting products are not pet-friendly!  Use a pet-approved product for your own property and be sure to clean any potential contamination from your pet’s fur and paws upon your return home.
  • Steer clear of antifreeze.  Even a tiny amount of this sweet substance can be lethal.
  • Be extra careful around frozen lakes and ponds.  If your pet should fall in accidently, it may not be able to get out.  Hypothermia is also a concern.
  • Use extra care in icy areas for both you and your pet.
  • If your pet begins to shake or shiver, it is time to end your outing.  Just because your pet is wearing a fur coat doesn’t mean it can’t get cold.  Just like you, the more active your dog is, the warmer it will stay.  Your pet may benefit from wearing doggy booties or a coat.
  • Try to target your outdoor activities for the warmest part of the day.  There is a big difference between going for an hour long walk at noon and walking in the evening after the sun has gone down!

Don’t keep your pup all cooped up until Spring!  By getting out, you will enjoy the season and keep you and your pet healthy and fit.  Just be aware of weather-related dangers so that you can head outdoors worry-free.

 

Cold Weather Tips for Frigid Felines and Pupscicles!

Dog in SnowThere is no doubt that winter is on its way.  As temperatures drop there are some special considerations for our pets.  Did you know that…

  • … salt products used to melt ice can be very irritating to delicate paws and some are even toxic?  Use pet-friendly ice melting products for your sidewalks and driveway and be sure to wipe your pet’s tootsies and underside when they come in after a walk.
  • … anti-freeze is lethal to pets even in tiny amounts?  This sweet tasting liquid causes rapid kidney failures.  Notify neighbors if you notice a leak in their driveway and use a pet-safe alternative for your own vehicles.
  • … many a chilly kitty has taken refuge on a warm engine block.  If you do not park in a garage, bang on the hood of your car to scare off any stowaways before starting your engine to avoid an unwitting animal becoming injured under your hood.
  • … pets can get frostbitten too!  While many do sport a warm, furry coat, they should not spend a substantial amount of time outdoors in subzero temperatures without shelter.  Thinner coated pets might benefit from a warm coat and/or booties as well.
  • … very young or elderly animals may not tolerate the chilly weather as well others?  Use common sense when taking these animals outdoors this winter.
  • … cats should be kept inside whenever possible in the winter?  The dangers of being outdoor increase substantially for kitties when the temperatures plunge.
  • … dogs can lose their scent in the snow?  A dog that panics off leash in a snow storm may not be able to find it’s way home like it would normally.  Keep your dog leashed.

As always, please call us if you have any questions about keeping your pet safe this winter.