The cold winter months of the year can be harsh on everyone, to say nothing of our furry friends like cats and dogs. A common misconception is that animals are naturally weather-proof and that the outside temperature doesn’t actually matter regarding their health and well being. When it comes to keeping your pets safe and warm once the temperatures start to drop, you should always keep a few key things in mind.
Create a Shelter Outdoors
If you do have the type of pet that likes to spend a significant amount of time outdoors, make sure that you’re setting up some type of shelter outside the house for them to use when the elements start to get a bit much for them. Something like a dog house would work perfectly – it’s a covered area that is dry, can help maintain their body heat and can keep them protected from things like harsh winds.
One thing that many people don’t know about cold temperatures during the winter is that they can actually worsen some conditions that your pet may already have. Dropping temperatures can severely irritate arthritis in a dog or cat, for example. If you have a dog that is older, he or she may also have difficulty walking once temperatures begin to fall.
If your dog or cat becomes stiff during colder weather, have your veterinarian examine him/her for arthritis.
When winter rolls around, you may have a lot of weather-related chemicals that see increased levels of use. Winter is the time to break out the antifreeze for your car, for example. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll also want to go to great lengths to keep all of these types of chemicals safe and out of the reach of all of your pets. Antifreeze poisoning is an unfortunately common phenomenon around dogs in particular.
Keeping Your Pets Safe and Warm Inside the House
Regardless of the type of animal that you have, you shouldn’t leave him or her outside all night long without shelter. What this doesn’t mean, however, is that you should keep them cooped up all winter long. Dogs in particular will still be perfectly happy playing in the low temperatures and getting regular outdoor activity when winter rolls around.