Keep Your Furbabies Warm & Cozy with These Tips

You know how important it is to protect yourself and your (non-furry) kids against the cold weather. You bundle up in coats and boots, wear hats and gloves, and limit time spent outside. However, it is just as important to protect your furry friends from the cold. Even though they have fur coats, they aren’t immune to the effects of chilly weather. Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe and warm this winter.

Move Pets Indoors
If your cat is primarily an outdoor pet during the spring and summer, you may want to consider moving her inside for the winter. Staying in freezing temps for too long can be deadly for cats. At the very least, you should definitely move her inside if the temperatures drop below zero. There are lots of ways to keep your cat entertained and stimulated inside with toys and games.

Limit Outdoor Time
If you can’t handle thirty minutes outside, neither can your pet. Don’t let your dog wander around the yard all afternoon or take him for super long walks. Try to find ways to play inside with your pet. Create an indoor obstacle course for your cat to keep him entertained. Taking your dog to a doggy daycare can keep her socialized while giving her time and space to play. A pet spa can also give your pet a bath indoors and blow dry their fur before they head outside.

Bundle Up
Your dog’s fur coat provides some level of warmth, but he may need some extra layers if it’s cold and snowy enough. Shorthaired dogs especially can benefit from a sweater or vest. You should also get boots for your dog’s paws for when you go on walks. Not only can the ice or cold weather be bad for his feet, but rock salt and other chemicals that keep the road from freezing can really irritate his paws. Plus, he may lick their paws to help ease the irritation and accidentally ingest harmful chemicals.

Be Careful With Antifreeze
Antifreeze is useful, but can also be deadly for your pets. Your dog or cat may smell a sweet scent from the antifreeze, tempting them to lick it. Clean up any spills immediately and store bottles where your pets can’t get to them. Always wipe your pets’ paws whenever they’ve been outside to remove any rock salt or chemicals.

Make Noise
Many outdoor cats or other creatures might take shelter in or under your car’s hood to take advantage of the warmth from your engine. Before starting your car, make noise, bang the hood or check the car to make sure there are no animals in there. Starting the car with a cat in the hood can be deadly for the poor kitty.

Get a Collar and Chip
You should already have a collar with your address and a microchip for your pet. If you don’t, now is a perfect time to get one. Pets are more likely to get lost in the winter since snow, rain, and ice can block recognizable scents they would normally use to get home.

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