Fall ushers in changing leaves, plunging temperatures and the start of holiday fun. Preparing for the upcoming winter months is about more than just pulling out warm clothes. It is just as important to prepare your pets.
Winter pet preparation depends on the type of animal companion you have. However, tips for common furry companions run the gamut from protecting little paws to keeping them comfortable in cold temperatures.
Change Out Bedding
If your home tends to get cold in the winter months, change up your pet’s bedding to accommodate the shift in temperature. Opt for thicker bedding and a blanket if your pet uses one.
You might also create layers around your pet’s bed, so that they have the option to burrow in blankets to get comfortable.
Take Care of your Pet’s Paws
This is especially important if you live a snowy location. If you can get your pet to wear booties when they go outside, this is ideal. Keep paw hair trimmed and clean as the hair can freeze if it gets wet in the snow.
If your pet doesn’t want to wear booties, then try to walk them during the warmest times of the day and avoid going out when the elements are raging (raining, snowing, etc.) if you can help it.
Efforts to keep your pet warmer makes it more important to hydrate them frequently. This is an essential part of helping them regulate their internal temperatures.
Avoid Interactions with Outdoor Salt
If you live in a snowy location, chances are that you use salt on the driveway or walkways to help melt the snow. If you have a dog, make sure they avoid interactions with this salt as it can be toxic if they lick or eat it.
The same applies to products used to contend with the ice on roadways. Keep your pets away from these areas that have been treated with chemical components for snow and ice.
Spend More Time Inside
If the temperatures are extreme where you live, try to spend more time inside. If your pet is accustomed to being outside to do their business, use indoor training pads as places they can go indoors instead.
You may need to be creative with ways to keep them entertained, especially if your pet is used to playing in a large yard or being walked several times a day. Toys, pet trees and distinct play areas can help keep them engaged in doors.
Offer Extra Treats
Your pet will be expending more calories during the winter months to stay warm, so a few extra treats will help to maintain balance between energy and weight. Offer a few extra treats, especially when your pet spends more time outdoors in the colder months, to shore up energy stores.
Click here to learn more about preparing your pet for the winter months and how you can help keep other pets safe during this time.