After 10 months of summer here in California, winter weather has finally arrived. I know I complain about the wishing and hoping for rain, wind and cold.Â But itâ€™s still kind of unbearable! During these cold winter months itâ€™s hard enough for humans to stay warm, (I do love my heated footrest and foot warmer mat) imagine how it must feel to be a dog or cat. I thought about that last night when my dogs broke into the house! They have a doggy door that leads into my laundry room (which I separate from the rest of the house with a babygate) and being as their floor heater broke I guess they were desperate and had no choice but to break in for heat. Our pets canâ€™t throw on a sweater when they feel a chill, and they canâ€™t tell us when their joints hurt. We have the luxury of staying inside on cold winter days if we so choose, but not our dogs. They still have to venture into the cold to â€œdo their businessâ€ several times a day. So, what can we do as pet owners to make sure our pets have the best possible care during these frigid winter days?Â Here are some tips:
- Keep your cat inside, which is a harder task than it sounds. My cats are ninjas and have figured out how to open windows. Outdoors, felines can freeze sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. I sadly did this to a possum a few nights ago so it CAN happen.
- Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. Also, remember to thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. They don’t have the ability to use snow and ice mats like us.
- If your dogs sleep on tile, put down a rug that can help insulate them and also can absorb water or ice that they bring in with them. (good water absorbing mats like our Sponge mat is perfect)
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth.
- Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. Just like the heat in the summer, the weather is amplified in a closed car.
- Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape.
- Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor (or at least on good indoor mats) and away from all drafts.
The Weather Channel also shares some valuable information about winter pet care. They explain how to watch your pets closely for signs of discomfort with the cold when you are outside with them. If they whine, shiver, seem anxious, slow down or stop moving, or start to look for warm places to burrow, they’re saying they want to get back someplace warm.