Pets are part of the family, so taking good care of them is essential. The winter months can be particularly challenging as you have to deal with snow and low temperatures – but also get excited about holiday parties and Christmas trees! Keep reading for tips on keeping your pets safe, happy and healthy during this time of year.
Keep your pet dry and clean
A dog’s winter coat is the perfect insulator, keeping the body warm and dry. With some care, you can ensure the coat stays clean, healthy and comfortable throughout the season. Brush your dog regularly to remove loose hair and dirt that can accumulate in the fur. Use a flea shampoo if ticks or fleas are a problem where you live (or have been). Clean their ears regularly to prevent infections that might lead to deafness later in life. Keep an eye out for cuts and scrapes as well. If your pet has an open wound, ensure it gets cleaned thoroughly with antiseptic ointment before applying bandages or gauze pads so it doesn’t get infected by outside germs or dirt particles that could lead to infection if left untreated.
Don’t let your pet linger outside during freezing weather
Even with all the winter gear, you can buy your pet, and there’s no escaping the fact that the cold is dangerous. Winter is when animals should be kept indoors as much as possible—except for walks and other outdoor activities that are brief, appropriate for the weather conditions, and don’t expose them to dangerous situations (like crossing busy roads).
Pets can get hypothermia or frostbite if left outside in shallow temperatures for extended periods. They can also get lost or stolen, so you need a way to keep tabs on them. Animals run away from home for warmth when it’s too cold to survive outdoors.
If your pet spends much time outdoors during winter, ensure they wear protective gear (such as jackets) while playing outside! It’s better than nothing but won’t last long against snowfall or high winds unless it covers most of their body like thick fur does naturally.
Supervise all outdoor time and walks
- Keep them safe. Pets should be kept indoors or in a kennel during the winter months. Even if you live in an apartment with outside access, allowing your pet to roam outside may not be a good idea due to slippery conditions and other dangers associated with cold weather. If you must walk your dog, take them on an indoor/outdoor surface such as grass or gravel instead of sidewalks, roads or parking lots so they don’t fall on ice patches that could injure their paws.
- Use leashes and harnesses at all times when walking your pet outdoors during the winter months – even if there is no snow! This will ensure that if they slip on ice or into the water, they won’t get away from you and run off (which can lead to frostbite). They should also always wear booties when playing outside in freezing temperatures; these are like socks worn over their paws but made out of rubber instead of fabric which helps prevent them from slipping on surfaces like concrete driveways where salt has been used before snowfall began!
Get extra vet visits in the winter
It’s important to stay proactive about your pet’s health. If you see any changes in your pet, go to the vet!
If you think your pet is sick, bring them in for a checkup! Don’t wait until the last minute and then worry—get extra vet at Toronto Parliament Animal Hospital visits in the wintertime.
Trash can pets’ paws after walks
- Use a brush to remove snow and ice.
- Use warm water to remove the salt.
- Use a towel to dry your paws. This is especially important if they have been outside in the cold longer than usual because it can cause their pads to become extremely dry and cracked due to exposure to the cold.
- Use a pet paw balm daily during winter, especially after snow or ice walks! This will help heal cuts and scrapes before they become too deep, which may require surgery later on down the road if left untreated (remember: hindsight is 20/20).
Remove ice and salt from their paws immediately
In winter, there is a lot of ice and salt on the ground. Your pet should be able to avoid these hazards because they are smaller than you are. But what if they slip? You may not realize it at first, but ice can cause severe irritation to your pet’s paws. Salt is also bad for dogs, cats and wildlife in general—it can cause sores and infections that lead to amputation if left untreated over time.
If possible, try not to use salt when walking outside with your pet! There are plenty of products available that will melt snow and ice without causing harm to animals or other living things. If you must use salt for whatever reason (ease of access? speediness?), choose a product designed for pets’ safety before handling anything yourself!
Keep them hydrated
Our animals need extra water in the winter to maintain their body temperature.
The best way to ensure your pet is getting enough fluids is by ensuring they have access to fresh, unfrozen water. Leaving their water dish outside overnight in below-freezing temperatures will freeze up and become unusable for the day. The same goes for travel bowls: bring them inside! Also, remember that cats tend to drink less during winter months and may need more frequent refills of their water bowl than usual—especially if they’re not getting any exercise outside in the cold!
Could you pay attention to their needs?
As you know, your pet’s needs are very similar to yours. If you get cold or hot, your pet does as well. When the temperature changes from warm to cold, or if there is a change in season, your pet may need an extra layer of clothing or an additional blanket.
If your cat starts to shiver outside, it’s too cold for them, and they are getting chilled. If your dog pants excessively inside a house on a warm day (or during play), they probably need some water and possibly a few minutes out of direct sunlight until they cool down enough.
Your pets need love and care throughout the winter months
You must be careful about taking your pets outside in the winter months. You should be aware of some dangers, including
- Your pet could slip and fall on icy terrain, causing an injury or even death.
- Snow can cause frostbite on their paws, especially if they stay out without protection from boots or booties (or shoes).
- If your dog has long hair, it might get hypothermia if left outside too long during winter. A steady supply of food and water is necessary to keep your pet’s body temperature up!
We hope that our list of winter tips has been helpful, and we encourage you to share your own. While the weather may be cold, your pets can still be warm and happy inside with you!
If you want the best of anything, our vets are knowledgeable and friendly, and we at Parliament Animal Hospital treat your pets like they are our pets. Please go ahead and give us a call right now!