Old man winter has settled into Medicine Hat quite comfortably now, and not only do we feel the icy cold chill, but so do our pets! We came up with a list to help your furbaby out with the long forecasted winter.
- Having fur does not protect as much as we may think, especially our shorter haired dogs! Most of us like dressing our pets up, and it makes it that much better when it’s for a purpose AND for cuteness…Go ahead and buy that pink princess sweater for your pup… she will thank you for the warmth!
- Since our dogs usually do need to go outdoors to go to the bathroom or for walks to release some energy, our cats on the other hand should stay indoors when the temperature starts to dip. Putting a coat or sweater on your cat and leaving it outdoors is dangerous as they may get caught on something. To help entertain your stir crazy kitty, try to buy enrichment toys or scratch pads for inside to keep their mind busy while indoors.
- If your vehicle is kept outside and not in a garage in the winter, give it a quick knock on the hood or beep the horn before turning it on. Feral cats often seek warmth on the engine of a car and turning it on while the kitty is nestled in would not be good!
- If your dog has feet like a Who from Whoville (long hair on the feet!) your pet would benefit from getting those long hairs trimmed or shaved short in and around the toes. When we take our dog for a walk, the snow will ball up in those long hairs and make it extremely uncomfortable
- To go along with the above bullet, this is another excuse to buy cute booties to protect those sensitive paws from cold pavement, chemicals such as antifreeze and de-icer, and prevent little wet paw marks all over the house
- Although our senior pets still love their walks, the snow and ice does make it difficult for those old and achy joints (more prone to slip and fall). Providing them with booties that have rubber at the bottom will provide them with some support, but sometimes shorter walks are better in the winter than those favorite long morning/evening walks.
- Our pets with an underlying illness (diabetes, heart/kidney disease, hormonal imbalances) cannot regulate their temperature as well. Moving their bed to a draft free zone in the house, and again, cute sweaters will help them feel more comfortable.
- If your dog refuses to wear those booties – make sure to wipe those paws after the walk, not only for your clean floors sake, but any chemicals that your dog may have stepped in will be ingested when your pet decides to lick its paws.
- Watch out for Antifreeze! This is the time when it is used and left out or will leak from vehicles. Dogs love the taste as it is sweet and if you have any doubts that your pet may have gotten into it, an emergency trip to the Vet is warranted! Keep that antifreeze up and away from your pets!
Bottom line is…. If you cannot stand outside for too long before you start to feel uncomfortable, then it is too cold for your pet! Hypothermia and frostbite can and does happen even with the extra layer of fur!