As you begin to bundle up in anticipation of winter, remember that your furry and feathery friends can feel the chill, too. The risks aren’t just from the dropping mercury, though; the winter world brings with it some unique dangers for animals. Here are some essential pet safety tips for winter.

Prepare

This is the time for snowstorms, power outages, and blocked roads. When you stock up as a precaution, keep your pet’s needs in mind, too. If the temperature gets especially low, you may have to make room for otherwise outdoor pets to share the indoors with the family. Make the arrangements to cope.

Grooming and Tailoring

Maintain the coats of your long-haired pets as it is their natural defense against the cold. Short-haired friends may need a sweater instead. Either way, ensure that they are adequately bundled up from neck to tail and don’t forget the abdomen. If you bathe them, keep them indoors and warm until they are dry.

Outdoors

The number of lost pets surges during wintertime. Keep your pets on a leash when outdoors and please chip them. Take extreme care if you live near ponds or lakes that freeze over. If the weather isn’t helping, you might want to substitute house pets relieving themselves outside with an indoors alternative, especially with very young animals.

An outdoor dog house can still be a viable option if the weather isn’t especially cold. Just make sure that the entrance does not face the wind. Cover it with burlap or heavy plastic. Insulate the sides and the bottom, too. Ideally, its size should be a balance between comfort and the ability to hold body heat.

Nutrition

Animals burn calories to keep warm and this need spikes in cold weather. Increase their dietary intake of high-calorie food and meal frequency as well, if needed. Your pet’s tongue can get stuck to a frozen bowl so consider swapping metal food and water containers for plastic ones.

Beware

The odds are that your pet will still drag you out in the cold for their walk and play. Indulge them, sure, but dry and clean them as soon as you get back. Ice and snow can cause frostbite on the extremities of the paws, ears, and tail if left there.

There is also the hidden danger of de-icing chemicals used on sidewalks and roads. These chemicals can be toxic and are all too easily absorbed into the body through contact. A post-walk paw, snout, and abdomen cleanup is essential in the wintertime because of this.

Did you pick up some pointers from this article? A lot of it is common sense that we just don’t happen to realize. If you see someone who is being uncaring about their pet’s winter wellbeing, it’s probably because they are just unaware. Remind them gently and they will be glad for it