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Winter Care for Outdoor Pets

By on December 18, 2012
Snow dog

With the cold wintry season rapidly approaching, making sure your pets are well taken care of is a main priority. There are many concerns for making sure your outdoor pets have everything they need to stay safe and comfortable despite cold temperatures. Below are some tips on how to make sure outdoor pets are ready for anything that could come their way.

Shelters

Making sure your pet’s shelter is winter ready is important. While summertime houses can be easy and lightweight to create, winter time houses need a little bit extra preparation. Make sure the shelter in question has insulation in the walls and that the insulation is covered so it doesn’t get used as a toy. Blankets or beds are a nice addition to this too, as it allows for a warm area the pet may curl up in. A small opening is ideal as opposed to having one side open, to keep the heat inside.

Food and Water

When a pet is outdoors during the winter, there are a couple things to keep in mind to make sure they are covered in case bad weather keeps them outside or it gets very cold into the evenings. A heated water bowl is a must in areas where the temperature drops below freezing to ensure your pet has a healthy supply of water at all times. Similarly extra food will allow your pet to maintain their weight in colder conditions and will allow them to stay warmer.

Clothing and Care

Even with blankets, outdoor pets may not be able to maintain a proper body temperature. Dog clothing can be a great option for a pet living outside or for going on outdoor extended walks. Paw care is also extremely important. During the cold weather, paw pads can crack, causing serious pain for the animals. Looking at outdoor paw covers, such as snow shoes, can be a good option. Most pet stores have cold weather paw covers available for sale. If your pet’s paws do crack, applying Bag Balm to your pet’s paws and covering them will allow the paw pads to heal.

Beware Outdoor Dangers

There are many dangers for outdoor animals if you are not careful. Make sure your pet is current on all of its immunizations, in case there is any issue. During the winter, other outdoor creatures may be attracted towards your pet’s outdoor housing or food, and fights can break out, so making sure immunizations are current is important. Another regular winter danger is antifreeze. Whether it is leaking from a vehicle or left in a garage, pets are attracted to its smell and poses a serious threat to them. Depending on the amount of antifreeze they ingest, it can cause severe health issues and even death. Avoid an accident and make sure to tuck away anything that might be a danger to your pet.

Many pet owners consider their dogs family, so take the appropriate measures to ensure your pets are safe, warm, and happy this winter.

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