When the temperatures start to drop and the snow begins to fall, we turn on the heat and add more blankets to our beds. But what about our outside pets? Sometimes we forget that they get cold too! Here are a few ways to protect your favorite outside friends during the winter.
Watch out for antifreeze — it is extremely lethal for cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA, a way to protect your pets from antifreeze poisoning is to switch to products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol because the taste and the scent are less appealing for animals. Another way to prevent antifreeze poisoning make sure you wipe down your dogs’ feet and belly after walks in case your dog walked through any spills.
Winter is an extremely dangerous time for outdoor cats because they often seek out warm places. Under the hood of cars is one of their favourite spots to warm up, but once the car is started, it can cause injuries and death if they get stuck on the fan belt. To avoid this from happening, bang on the hood of your car — if there is a cat under there, the noise will scare him out!
Keeping your cat outdoors in winter is quite unsafe; many factors can contribute to the loss of your cat. The best way to protect your cat from predators, freezing and diseases from stray cats is to bring your cat in during the winter or keep them in a heated garage or barn. Make sure to clean up any antifreeze and watch for future spills.
Dogs need walks even in the cold, so make sure to wipe their feet with a warm damp cloth after walks to ensure that salt and magnesium chloride and other chemicals are not stuck to their paws. If their feet are not cleaned off after walks, their pads can bleed or they may ingest poison.
Dogs love walking and running in parks, and the cold weather usually does not slow them down. But if you take your dog walking around reservoirs or ponds, make sure to keep them on their leash — if they run out on the ice, it can break beneath them and they will fall through.
During the winter months, your pets burn more calories just to stay warm, so make sure that they are getting enough food. Dogs, cats and horses all need extra food during colder months.
Next: 6 more ways to protect your pets from the cold.