Brrr..Baby its cold outside!
Winter is upon us and all though most of us here in Virginia Beach aren’t looking for snowy days, they happen. Some dogs may be made for the cold, but others prefer the warmth of their human’s bed. Dogs are very much a part of our family and we want to protect them as such.
Here are some tips on keeping your fur babies safe and warm this season.
Limit outside play and walks. This goes for leaving them alone in the car too. If you know your pet will be in the cold for long periods, consider putting a sweater or booties on them.
Dog/cat houses. If you have an outside dog, or cats that like to explore the outdoors (even strays), provide them with warm shelters. Use an insulated dog house, even a plastic storage bin with a cut out entryway. Don’t forget to throw in some blankets and maybe a warm bed.
Wipe their paws. It’s crucial to remember this, especially with snow or ice on the ground. It can get compacted into their paws and between toes and can lead to sores and even frostbite.
Pet-friendly de-icer. Rock salt is a chemical and can irritate your dog’s skin. Not only that, but it can get stuck in their pads and can heat up to 170 degrees! That’s enough for a serious burn!
Collar/chip. Pets can get lost at any time of year, but with snow and ice, it can be harder for a pet to sniff its way home. Always make sure your information is updated and accurate so you can get your baby home.
Food and hydration. Always maintain a healthy weight for your pet. Although some outside dogs may need a little extra food during winter, it is not necessary to overfeed. As always, make sure they have access to fresh water and stay hydrated
Be prepared. Unfortunately, winter brings severe weather. Keep extra food, bottled water, meds, treats, litter, etc., just in case. A pet emergency kit can come in handy too.
Know the warning signs. Pets can shiver too! Anxiousness, weakness and changes in posture or behavior are tell-tale symptoms. Frostbite may take a few days to recognize and is hard to detect. If you think your pet may be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, seek veterinarian care immediately.
A few last reminders: Even our babies with long coats and who love the cooler temperatures, can still suffer. Like us, animals naturally look for warmth, so keep an eye out for any small animals under your car. Watch out for any melting snow and ice, especially from trees and rooftops. Winter is only a few months, but it can be extremely dangerous for both humans and our four legged friends. Preparation and awareness will help make it a successful season.
From all your friends here at Bones and Belly Rubs, we would like to wish you all a safe (and not too cold) winter!