I’m looking at the weather forecast for the next several days and see a lot of 20’s and 30’s in our future. The temperatures this time of year can be brutal in our area. Here are some tips for keeping your pets warm, safe and comfortable over the next few months.
Keep indoor pets….indoors. The best strategy is to just keep you animals inside as much as possible. Of course they must have their frequent outdoor breaks, but remember that brief is the operative word. Even though they are covered in fur, pets are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite in severely cold temperatures, just like us. When it’s really cold out, keep the walks short, and pay special attention to protect your pet’s exposed areas like nose, paw pads and ears. Smaller and/or short haired dogs and cats can benefit from a sweater or coat for additional warmth.
Precautions for the outdoor pet. Ideally, a pet should be kept indoors during extreme weather conditions, but of course that is not always an option. Animals that spend a lot of time outdoors need good shelter. Provide these pets with a sturdy structure that is big enough for them to lie down, but small enough to capture and retain body heat. The structure should be draft free and a few inches off the ground. It should have a sturdy doorway, and the ground should be covered with cedar or straw. Also, these outdoor pets need more food and water during the cold months. Be sure to check on their provisions regularly to ensure that their water hasn’t frozen and they have enough food. Also, be sure to use plastic food and water bowls, metal bowls can freeze, causing your pet’s tongue to freeze along with it!
Watch out for wildlife. Remember that stray cats and other small animals may find your warm engine very inviting on a cold day. They may crawl up under your hood to find warmth. Give your hood a quick knock on a cold morning before starting the engine to scare away any hidden critters.
Chemical caution. Salt can irritate your pet’s paws, be sure to wipe them down with a damp cloth if they come in contact with salt or any other ice melting chemical. This leads me to antifreeze. It has a sweet taste that animals find irresistible. Be sure to keep all antifreeze solutions far out of reach of animals and children. Also, now you can buy anti freeze that is made with propylene glycol, which is less toxic.
Make some noise. If you see an animal left out in the cold, be sure to tell someone. But also, be sure to document everything you see. The time, the place, the type of pet, as many details as possible. If you can grab a video or photo with your phone, even better. Once you have the evidence, tell your local animal control agency or police department.
These are just a few ways to keep your best friend warm and comfortable over these harsh winter months! Also, did you know that Keenan Insurance Agency in Doylestown, PA offers pet insurance? Contact us today for a no-obligation quote for man’s best friend! (Cats too).