Winter is probably the most uncomfortable season. Winter months record the least amount of travel activity and workplace productivity. As temperatures plummet to sub-zero degrees, most people retreat to the shelter of their homes to toughen the season out.
But winter’s chilly weather isn’t only hard on us. It can also deal a massive blow to the health of our pets and livestock.
So, as you take precautionary measures to stay warm during winter weather, it’s essential to keep your pet’s welfare in mind too. After all, pets are legitimate family members and deserve special treatment like everyone else.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your furry, feathery or even scaly companion safe and warm during winter. Those tips shall be the focus of this post, but first things first.
What Are The Effects Of Winter On Pets?
Many people intuitively imagine that pets are highly resistant to cold, ostensibly due to their thick coats and fur. However, this assumption isn’t entirely true. All animals can bear the brunt of winter weather.
What could make the situation even worse for your pet is that animals won’t readily complain when they’re down with a cold. Therefore, it might be too late by the time you realize you’ve not been keeping your adorable pet warm enough. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to provide warmth for pets during the winter months. Common tips include investing in high-quality fashion dog jackets, pet socks, warm bedding, etc. More on this later on.
First, it’s best to start by understanding the adverse repercussions of winter on your four-legged friend. The following are some of the common winter illnesses in pets;
Hypothermia affects pets the same way as humans. The condition results from prolonged exposure to cold. It mainly presents low body temperature, shivering, listlessness, and lethargy.
Frostbite is a term for the tissue damage that occurs during chilly conditions. The severity of frostbite depends on factors like your pet’s size, age, and fur thickness. However, no pet is immune.
Symptoms include hard and pale skin, blistering, skin darkening, and gangrene.
The sniffles are the human version of cold. The condition produces respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and fatigue.
Although the sniffles are less severe than hypothermia and frostbite, the resulting symptoms may overwhelm many pets.
Antifreeze poisoning is caused by ethylene glycol, a common additive in antifreeze. The poisoning occurs when your pet licks the chemical from garage floors or sidewalks.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, wobbliness, and seizures are common symptoms of antifreeze poisoning.
Ways to Keep Your Pet Warm During Winter
Limit Prolonged, Unsupervised Outdoor Excursions
Pets are curious animals who’ll always prefer to venture outdoors.
It’s undeniably true that exploring the lawn or neighborhood is excellent for your furry friend. However, it’s best to limit outdoor excursions during the winter months.
During winter, prolonged exposure to the outdoors is the leading cause of hypothermia in pets.
Invest In Warm Clothing and Bedding
When it comes to pets, you can only minimize (but not eliminate) outdoor adventures.
There will always be moments when your canine or feline friend just wants to romp wildly in the backyard. You might also want to tag the animal along during your early-morning runs or when visiting grocery stores.
While you may not completely prevent your pet from venturing outside during winter, you can at least keep him warm during those short outdoor excursions. You can do that by getting the animal to wear a sweater, jacket, or fleece before going outdoors. Also, don’t forget pet boots and socks, as well as warm bedding.
Simply the Best pet food is available at daves pet food. It is designed specifically for dogs with digestive and gas problems. Approximately 75% of Dave’s Simply the Best’s ingredients come from animal sources, and approximately 85% of it is digestible.
Increase Activity Levels
It’s tempting to cuddle with your pet on the couch during winter simply. After all, inactivity helps preserve the energy required to stay warm, right?
Well, that’s not entirely true. Working out might prove more beneficial for your pet during winter.
Exercise increases metabolism. High metabolism translates to more efficient digestion. Remember that much of the energy your pet requires to generate heat comes from the foot that the animal consumes. But more specifically, that energy is a result of metabolic processes. Ramping up activity levels during winter raises your pet’s metabolism, which consequently boosts energy production.
Besides, exercise may trigger the release of the happiness hormones, endorphins. These hormones play a massive role in preventing the boredom and loneliness often induced by winter weather, leading to separation anxiety.
Keep Your Pet’s Fur Dry
A typical winter day can oscillate between extremely dry and extremely wet conditions.
Although both are potentially harmful to your pet, it’s the wetness that should worry you the most.
Pets returning from outdoor adventures may have snowflakes on their fur. This can increase the risks of hypothermia and frostbite. Your best bet is to dry the animal’s fur immediately using a pet-safe towel or blow-drier.
You should also consider drying your pet’s fur immediately after bathing them. It’s even better if you bathe the animal less frequently than you usually do.
There goes our definitive guide into keeping your four-legged friend safe and warm during winter.
As a parting shot, remember to take your pet for a veterinary checkup immediately you suspect he could be suffering from any winter-induced illness.