Brrr! We’ve seen some of the coldest temperatures the Brazos Valley has seen in recent history, and we’ve even seen SNOW! Chances are, if you’re cold, so is you pet! Follow these tips to make sure your furry friend stays toasty warm this winter!
- Never leave your pet outside for an extended period of time.Even outside pets should be allowed indoors when temperatures dip. If they get too cold or too wet, their body temperature drops. This can cause internal organ failure even if outdoor temperatures are above freezing. Anything under 45 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous.
- Keep your pet hydrated. Trying to stay warm takes a lot of energy - make sure to always have fresh water available. Remember to check outdoor water bowls to make sure they haven’t frozen over.
- Ask your veterinarian about winter nutrition. Outdoor dogs often need more food during the winter. Puppies and senior dogs may need smaller, more frequent meals to help maintain energy. Indoor dogs shouldn’t need more food – avoid overfeeding them to prevent weight gain.
- Consider a sweater or coat. Short-haired dogs may be more comfortable with an extra layer of warmth during walks. Look for one with a high collar and coverage all the way to the belly.
- Take shorter walks during the winter. Consider playing indoor games such as fetch and tug-of-war for additional exercise.
- Use caution on ice. Slipping on ice can lead to sprains and broken bones in pets as well as humans.
- Give your pet a warm place to sleep. A dog or cat bed with an extra blanket is perfect. Make sure that it’s in a warm place of the house away from drafts. Older and arthritic dogs in particular can benefit from a heated dog bed or a hot water bottle.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car. This summertime rule applies during the winter as well – an unheated car quickly becomes a refrigerator and pets can even freeze to death.
- Avoid shaving or extensively cutting your dog’s coat. His or her coat is his primary source of warmth during the winter.
- Bathe your dog inside. Use warm (never cold) water, and make sure he or she is completely dry before going outside.
- Keep toxic winter-time chemicals away from pets. Antifreeze has a sweet taste and smell that pets are drawn to. Only four teaspoons can kill a dog under ten pounds. If your dog does ingest antifreeze, call your veterinarian immediately. Your dog’s life can be saved if treatment is given quickly. Another potentially lethal chemical used more often in wintertime is rat bait.
Wishing you a warm and cozy winter! If you have any questions, you can contact us at 979-217-1694.
Sources: https://animalfoundation.com/cold-weather-tips-to-keep-your-pets-warm/, http://www.dailypuppy.com/articles/how-to-keep-your-outside-dog-warm-in-the-winter_1333.html, https://www.wikihow.com/Keep-Dogs-Warm-in-the-Winter