7 Winter Safety Tips To Keep Your Pets Warm
Winter weather has arrived!
In the last few weeks, then Mother Nature made a turn and has hit most of the eastern seaboard, and the South, with some cold weather.
Pets are part of our families, which means we need keep pets warm during the winter.
Many animals love playing in the snow. Although, snow isn't a main part of the Atlanta winter, cold does impact our everyday lives. It is important keep our pets warm!
There are a few things to consider to ensure that your pets stay warm and safe during the winter.
Avoid Winter Hazards
Winter weather brings its own worries for pet owners. Pets, in particular, dogs love the outside and playing in the snow, but there are some additional winter hazards that dogs may inadvertently explore with their never ending enthusiasm and imagination.
Watch Out for Antifreeze
In the cold weather, antifreeze is important to keep a car's engine working. The problem with antifreeze is its chemical makeup. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which leads to high mortality rates in animals.
To help, ensure that antifreeze (or all chemical) containers are out of reach of your pets.
Beware of Hypothermia
Many pets enjoy playing in the snow, but it is important to protect them from harsh temperatures. The biggest way to avoid hypothermia is keep track of the temperature and time your pets send outside.
Although some breeds of dogs are more comfortable outside, they still need proper shelter to avoid signs of hypothermia, such as:
- weak pulse.
- violent shivering.
- breathing issues.
- lack of appetite.
If your pet shows some signs of hypothermia, then wrap blankets around your pet, give them some warm water or place a wrapped hot water bottle against their abdomen.
Many animals like to curl up in warm spaces. Space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces and stoves are all warm spots that animals tend to find cozy (even laptops!).
For homes with fireplaces or other open heat sources, then ensure there is a screen so pets cannot hurt themselves.
Plenty of Winter Exercise
Our pets need exercise. While cats may be able to jot around the house to keep in shape, dogs frequently need to run outside. During excessive cold spells, then consider of few ideas to keep your pets warm and healthy.
- Reduce the length of dog walks to keep from getting too cold.
- Play indoor games like fetch, tug-of-war or hiding toys to remain active.
- Run up and down the stairs to keep pets agile.
Additionally, dry your pets when they come into the house after outdoor activities. In particular, dogs may have ice or other things build up in their paws.
In cold weather, it takes longer for dogs to dry naturally, so help your four-legged friends to warm up!
Provide Proper Cold Weather Shelters
For animals that enjoy the outdoors, then there are a few tidbits to keep your pets warm in cold weather.
Build Appropriate Shelter
Ideally, pets and in particular, dogs remain indoors throughout the winter as the primary form of shelter. For outside dogs, like huskies, ensure your pet has proper shelter and bedding inside the shelter.
Like our homes, shelter for our pets should have proper roofs, insulation and heating. Also, ensure the entranceway properly drains water for any rain storms because you want to avoid the bedding to get wet.
Insulation is Key
The key to ensuring healthy air quality and reducing energy costs is proper insulation. The same fundamentals are key to ensuring proper shelter for your pets as well. To ensure your pet shelter is insulated properly:
- build the floor 4-6 inches off the ground.
- place insulation (such as straw) in the gap between the ground and floor.
- provide about 6 inches straw on the floor.
- check for the prevailing winds and provide additional insulation on that wall.
Ultimately, keep in mind that if the shelter is not warm enough for you, then it isn't warm enough for your dog!
Insulation helps, but in bitter cold, then pets still need some heat source to remain comfortable
As noted, some of the more popular heating options are a doggy heating pad and dog house heaters.
Additionally, consider adding a doggy door, so your dog or cat, can enter the house to warm up when they are cold. You'll want to make sure that the flap is tight enough to keep cold air outside the house (and heat inside your home!).
As winter continues, then we all want to stay warm. We provide shelter for our families, which includes our pets to make sure they are comfortable all year long. If you have any questions about keeping your home warm, then let us know. Snappy is always here to help!