As the temperatures drop in Northeast Ohio, be sure to keep your pet safe and warm! Check out some of these helpful tips for the winter. Exposure to winter’s colder temperatures, dry air, and snowy weather can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. To help prevent these cold weather dangers, please read the following tips:
- Keep the air from getting when they are inside. Make sure to keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he or she comes inside. This will help to prevent itchy, flakey skin as the air outside becomes dry in the winter. Also, pay special attention to feet and in between their toes and make sure to remove any snow balls from in between the toes.
- Keep them warm! Never shave your dog’s (or cat’s) fur in the winter. Longer coats provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, you can trim the fur to prevent clinging ice balls. Make sure to trim the hair between their toes too! For dogs with shorter hair, consider getting him or her a coat or a sweater for more warmth when they are outside.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during the winter. Washing too often can remove the essential oils and increase the chances of dry, flaky skin. If they absolutely need to be bathed, find a moisturizing shampoo or rinse.
- Keep their paws from cracking. Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into the paw pads before going outside can help prevent from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent salt and chemicals from getting stuck in between their toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts on your own property whenever possible.
- Keep chemicals where they can’t get to them. Antifreeze is a lethal poison for both dogs and cats. Thoroughly clean any spills from your vehicle.
- Feed them more. Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in the wintertime. Feeding them a bit more during cold weather months can provide the extra calories they need.
- Provide shelter! Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. If you have an outdoor cat, consider making or buying them a special shelter. Inside pets should have a warm place to sleep off of the floor and away from drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed is a great option!
- If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet! Keep them inside. If left outdoors for too long, pets can freeze, become disoriented, injured, or even killed. Don’t leave cars alone in a car during winter months either! They can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and can even cause animals to freeze to death.