Cold weather poses a challenge to the safety and health of your cats. How should a cat owner protect against cold weather risks? We’ve collected 10 top tips to share with you. Follow these suggestions and your pet will be a healthy and happy camper in the winter season to come.
Limit your cat’s time outdoors
A good rule of thumb is that if it’s too cold for you to be outside for any amount of time, then it’s also too cold for your pet. If your pet must be outside in the cold be sure to provide them adequate shelter (a place that is dry and warm) and blocks them from weather conditions. If temperatures are low then the inside of your home is the best place for your pet. A pet’s fur coat can only do so much when it’s cold outside.
Bundle cats in Warm Clothes
Bundling your dog up in clothes when you go out for a walk helps regulate their body temperature in the cold. This is particularly important if you have a short-haired breed. Your pet’s fur protects them from the elements, but not all pets’ coats are equally-equipped for extreme winter weather. When shopping for a dog jacket, look for one with a high collar or turtleneck that covers under the belly and to the base of the tail.
Keep your pet hydrated
The air both inside and outside homes becomes drier in the winter months so be sure to provide your pet with plenty of fresh water so they stay hydrated (don’t let the water get too cold) and keep an eye out for skin conditions. Visit a veterinarian if your pet starts having flaky skin or if their coat appears overly oily.
Is your pet vaccinated?
Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccines and consider a canine flu vaccine for your dog. Pets exposed to other pets are at risk for contracting a virus if the other pet is sick. A vaccine is a simple way to prevent avoidable illness.
Keep your pet active
A short walk on a brisk morning, teaching new tricks or finding safe ways to play inside is important to keeping your pet healthy. If you plan to go for a walk outside me mindful of salt or other chemicals your pet could come in contact with. Consider putting booties on their paws for protection.
Adapt your pet’s diet
Due to changes in activity levels a change in your pet’s diet may be in order. For example, if you normally give your pet cold food, warm it up in the winter so their bodies don’t have to use extra energy to do it. And if your pet is less active, less food might be recommended. We always recommend speaking to a veterinarian before making changes in your pet’s diet.
Keep sick pets separate from healthy pets
If you have a sick pet at home they should be kept separate from healthy pets until they become healthy again.
tale care of their paws
When your pet comes inside, wipe their paws thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove any ice, salt, caked mud, or chemicals (such as ice melt) they may have tracked in with them. If your pet licks their paws, salt and chemicals could cause issues such as irritation to the skin, paws, and gastrointestinal tract. If you’re concerned about your dog’s paws, a good option is to wrap their feet in booties when you take them outside for a walk.
Give extra care to elderly pets as the colder temperatures can make arthritis and other physical conditions harder on them.
Check the hood
Cats often sleep in the wheel wells of cars during the winter months to keep warm. If you start your car and a cat is sleeping on your tire, it can be severely hurt or even killed by moving engine parts. Prevent injuries by banging loudly on your hood or honking the horn before starting your car. This will wake up the cat and give it a chance to escape before starting the car.