The winter season can be a bit tough for pets. Although your cat, dog, or any other pet might have a thick coat of fur to keep it warm and cozy, as an animal lover, it is your responsibility to keep it warm regardless. The last thing you would want is your pet shivering due to extreme cold and falling ill as a result. So, let’s take a look at some important tips that will help on how to keep pets warm outside and inside during winter.
Warm And Thick Bedding
As mentioned earlier, the winters can be harsh on pets. So, the first thing you can do for keeping pets warm in cold weather is by offering them warm and thick bedding. Animals are good at retaining heat. Therefore, if you were to offer your pets thick bedding, they are most likely to be comfortable as they will be able to utilize and retain their body heat.
You should also opt for a thick blanket as well. Pets like to switch their sleeping spots now and then. During the winter season, they will always be looking for a warm place to sleep. So, keeping a thick blanket nearby will keep them extra warm.
Keep Pets Sheltered
When the temperature outside is extremely cold, instead of keeping your pets in their homes outside, you should bring them and let them spend some time inside. Under no circumstances should pets be left outside, regardless of the season. There are a lot of reasons for this. To begin with, anyone can drug your pet and kidnap it. Secondly, it could be that another pet attacks your pet and could kill it in a worse-case scenario.
There have been many cases in the past where cat owners had left their cats unattended that were attacked and ripped apart by dogs. This is a complicated situation where you cannot blame the dog owner as their pets are simply trying to protect their territory.
Therefore, pets can play outside for a while but should be kept inside when the temperature drops. Even then, use the best way to keep pets warm outside.
Gone are the days when jackets, scarves, and socks were only worn by humans. Today, your pets can wear them as well to protect themselves from extreme winter seasons.
How to keep pets warm outside? If you observe that your pet is shivering or is not moving around that much, it is because it is trying to retain heat and not feeling comfortable. In such a case, you can offer them warm clothing and make them feel comfortable. This is especially true for young puppies and kittens that are relatively more vulnerable and less tolerant of the cold weather.
Bundle Up, Wipe Down
Majority of the pet owners are not aware of the fact that no matter the temperature, Windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Exposed parts of the body such as ears and nose are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia during extremely cold seasons. This is why, for keeping pets warm in winter, you should make them wear a sweater during short walks for protection.
On the other hand, rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads and feet of your pet. Therefore, make sure that you wipe the paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and puts them in its mouth.
Don’t Shave Them
If you want to know how to keep pets warm outside and inside, do not shave your pets that have thick fur. This thick coat is a natural gift to keep your pet warm when the temperature gets too extreme. The longer the coat, the thicker the protection is going to be.
If you own a pet like a husky, you will observe that it will continuously shed hair to grow a thicker coat. So, do not shave it completely, just get a good grooming session done by a professional.
Remove Common Poisons
Antifreeze is a deadly poison but comes with a sweet taste that attracts both children and pets. If you have been using antifreeze inside your house, you should remove any spills immediately and keep them out of reach of children and pets
Take Care Of Their Grooming
The winter season means relatively fewer baths than the summer season. However, that does not mean no baths at all. Keep in mind that the air during the season is damp, while the surface can be muddy, therefore, you will need to look after your pet’s hygiene as well.
Ensure that you bathe your dog using warm water and use a towel to properly dry them before letting go. For keeping pets warm in cold weather, you should reduce the number of baths in the winter season but also make sure they are well-maintained and look fresh.
Protect Outdoor Animals
One important thing you should keep in mind during the winters is that outdoor animals need protection too. You might have come across several incidents where cats and other small animals were found inside the engine compartment as they were in search of a warm source.
This could be the case with your pet as well. That said, before you drive away with your vehicle, make sure to look around and under to scare them away. If you can’t do that, simply back on the car before starting the engine to make them run away.
Plus, to avoid it, use the best way to keep pets warm outside so it doesn’t need to hide under or in the car.
Use A Paw Balm
Winters can be tough on your pet’s paw pads as they tend to be soft and sensitive. As the winter season sets in, you will observe that the paw pads will turn dry. As a result, they can crack and dry out in ways that could be painful when they walk. This is why you should regularly check your pet’s paws and apply a paw balm to keep them protected. Moisturizing them will prevent dryness and keep the skin in fresh condition. Apart from keeping pets warm in winter, this practice is also critical.
Avoid Giving Cold Water Or Food
Even though it is common sense, some pet owners are careless when it comes to offering food during the winter season. If the food or water has been laying around for too long, you should consider warming it up. Cold meals are not tasty anyways, so you should make sure to warm them up to enhance the flavor and keep them healthy.
Increase Their Meal Proportions
You might have noticed that your pet is suddenly hungrier in the winter season. This is because it needs additional nutrition and calories to regulate its body temperature. It’s perfectly normal and you do not have to be concerned about it. You should increase the quantity of their food.
For instance, you can add warm soups like chicken soup or meat broth to their diet. However, make sure not to go overboard with the meals. You will need to consult your vet first and not use any ingredients that might trigger health concerns.
Exercise Is Important
Apart from offering hot meals and blankets for keeping pets warm in cold weather, it is equally important that you offer them as much exercise as you can. It is normal for humans to turn lazy during the winter season and the same rule applies to animals as well. They tend to move around relatively less to preserve heat and warmth.
However, you should ensure that your pet gets enough exercise to maintain its health. Once you get them running, their body temperature will increase, which will help them fight against the cold weather.
Massage Them With Oils
Winters can be harder for older pets that are suffering from arthritis, and joint or muscle pain. The reason is that the cold temperature results in stiffness, which causes the joints to hurt when the animal moves its legs around. During the summer season, the pain should be relatively less but, in the winters, it can become frustrating for the animal.
To help make your pet comfortable, you should massage it with oils. There is a huge variety of pain-relieving oils out there such as Hemp Seed Oil or Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil that will not only keep the body warm but also relieve stress.
What Other Ways Can I Protect My Pet In The Winter Season?
Keeping pets warm in winter is one thing but you should also continue tick, flick, and heartworm prevention during winter. For instance, heartworms can be deadly for your pets. These parasites can lodge into your pet’s lungs and heart, causing several health issues.
This is mostly caused by mosquitoes and could happen while your dog is outside. This is yet again another reason why you should keep your pets mostly indoors during the winter season. Similarly, fleas and ticks can also survive the cold weather season. If that is the case, they will find their way to your pet’s bedding and carpet.
Therefore, you should regularly inspect your dog’s fur and offer medications to prevent the previously mentioned health concerns. The winter season can be challenging for pets but a little care will go a long way in helping them survive the ordeal.