Preparing Your Pet for the Winter Months

The leaves are starting to fall, the nights are getting shorter, and the temperature is beginning to drop. These are all signs that winter is just around the corner.

Here are some tips to keep your furry friend comfortable during the cold, winter months.

For Cats:

  1. The best thing to do is simply keep them indoors. If they stay in all winter, they may adjust and become an indoor cat. I HIGHLY recommend keeping your cat(s) indoors all year long, as this will ensure their safety.
  2. If you DO let your cat out, they will search out warmth. Where else would they find it, but under the hood of a car. If you’re not sure where your cat has disappeared to, be sure to check your hood before starting your car.
  3. Wipe your cat off thoroughly if it has been outside. Antifreeze poisoning is common during these months.
  4. Allow your cat’s winter coat to grow in. Obviously, you’ll want to continue taking care of it with on-going brushings to make sure the fur does not mat; however, you do not want to shave it.
  5. Adding essential fatty acids to their diet and increasing their supply of food will help their coat grow in thicker. Vegetable oils such as canola oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, butter and fish oils are high in these fatty acids.
    • Speak with your Veterinarian first before adding any additional vitamins or supplements.
  6. Just as humans do, cat’s bones and joints tend to stiffen a bit during the winter/cold months. Occasionally you may have to shift things in their environment, such as placing a step up to get to the couch.

 

For Dogs: (Much of what I recommended for cats, is the same for dogs.)

  1. Dogs should always be on their leash in snow and during snowstorms, as they lose their scent, which causes them to become disoriented.
  2. Make potty breaks short.
  3. Wipe your dog off thoroughly after a walk. Antifreeze poisoning is common during these months
  4. Allow your dog’s winter coat to grow in. Obviously, you’ll want to continue taking care of it with on-going brushings to make sure the fur does not mat; however, you do not want to shave it.
  5. If you give your dog a bath, provide them with a warm, cozy bed away from cool breezes.
  6. DO NOT leave your dog alone in a car when it’s freezing outside. The animal could potentially freeze to death.
  7. Just as humans do, dog’s bones and joints tend to stiffen a bit during the winter/cold months. Occasionally you may have to shift things in their environment, such as placing a step up to get to the couch.
  8. Supplying your dog with more food during the winter months will help produce energy to defend against the cold.
    • Speak with your Veterinarian before making any adjustments.
  9. Bundle them up with a cute, little jacket or fleece!
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