Wintertime Pet Care

by on 25/02/15 at 2:39 pm

Snowflakes swirl down from the sky, fireplaces crackle merrily and all your loved ones gather around for a nice, warm meal…but are all of your loved ones really there?

The family pet may be a creature of the wild, an “outside” animal, and it’s easy to overlook their comfort when it’s so cozy inside. But even the hardiest outdoors pets may need to come in out of the cold during those harsh winter months. Check out our tips for taking care of your furry friends during the cold season.

  1. Make sure your outdoors pet has a warm bed to sleep in, and a little sweater couldn’t hurt either! Pets may have a fur coat, but it is not always enough. The bottoms of cat’s and dog’s paws are delicate, and exposed to all the elements. Consider purchasing two pairs of warm booties to keep those paws safe!
  2. Mammals expend more energy when it is cold, so your dog or cat will need more food. Additionally, keep an eye on the water bowls, to ensure that the water doesn’t freeze.
  3. Tap loudly on your car hood before you start it. Oftentimes, cats will climb inside where it’s warm and fall asleep – not a desirable place to be when the car is started.
  4. Check your car for leaks – Antifreeze has a sweet scent that is appealing to cats and dogs, but even one slurp is deadly.
  5. If your dog doesn’t have booties, be sure to wash and dry their paws after walks. The salt that is spread over sidewalks to melt snow is enhanced with chemicals, and can be harsh on your furry friend’s feet. Try applying petroleum jelly to the bottoms of your dog’s paws before and after walks for protection.
  6. Transitioning frequently from the cold wetness of outside into the dry heat of inside can leave your pet’s skin itchy and flaky. Leave a humidifier on in the house and towel-dry your puppy dog when the two of you return home from a winter walk.
  7. Give long-haired pets a haircut! Icicle dreadlocks can form in long fur, and those chemically enhanced salt crystals can easily get stuck.
  8. Try not to bathe your pet too often during winter, as their skin can get dried out. If you must, seek out a moisturizing shampoo to avoid skin irritation.
  9. Regular brushing can improve blood circulation, so don’t slack off the hair care maintenance during the winter months.
  10. And of course, the best tip we can give is to bring your cats and dogs inside when the weather drops below freezing. If you wouldn’t want to sleep outside, don’t force your dog or cat to stay out overnight.

There are ways to keep your pet warm and your home clean. Even if your pet is not housebroken, pick up a crate and some urine pads from your local Care-A-Lot Pet Supply store, located in Virginia Beach and Newport News. Your pet will thank you!

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