Snowstorms can be unforgivingly cold for both humans and pets. Therefore, ensuring the well-being of pets during a snowstorm is paramount. However, keeping your pets warm, safe, and comfortable requires careful consideration and proactive measures. Here are five ways to protect your furry companions when the winter weather worsens and a snowstorm rages.
Provide adequate shelter
Limit your pet’s exposure to the cold outside as much as you can. If your pets primarily dwell outdoors, erect shelters large enough to contain them but cozy enough to efficiently trap heat and keep them warm.
If your dogs stay indoors, ensure that they do not unnecessarily stray out of the warmth of your home except for periods you might need to walk them. As for cats, you might have to keep them from straying into the open.
Be careful with antifreeze and heating appliances
The frigidity of winter and snowstorms creates a high demand for products like anti-freeze. Anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol, which is used in car engines to regulate temperatures. It’s also used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, integral parts of our homes.
Anti-freeze is poisonous if accidentally ingested by your pet, and it certainly doesn’t help matters that it has an eerily pleasant smell, too. Wipe up spills as soon they occur, and store them out of your pet’s reach. In addition, because pets can knock heaters over or potentially be burnt by them, you also have to use them cautiously.
Be on the lookout for hypothermia
Simply put, hypothermia means abnormally low body core temperature. It manifests in different ways: shivering, shallow breathing, a weak pulse, confusion, and cold, blue skin. There may be unresponsiveness or cardiac arrest and death in severe cases.
Be on the lookout for these symptoms and take steps before they become serious. Bring your pets to warmer spots, wrap them in warm blankets and clothing, and warm them with warm (not hot) water. Monitor their temperature, too. When the outlook is not favorable, consult veterinary care.
Make adequate preparations for bathroom breaks
Thoughtfully prepare a spot in your yard, sheltered from the harsh winds and cold of the snowstorm and easily accessible to you and your pet. To prevent icy paws, apply pet-friendly ice melt on the spot.
To reassure your furry friend and keep them in line, accompany them to these spots when necessary. Keep their bathroom breaks as short as possible, and finally, dry their paws appropriately before they step back into the house.
Good skin and paw hygiene
Regularly remove any snow between foot pads when necessary. To avoid itchy and flaky skin, you should keep your pet’s coat longer in winter for warmth. However, if your pet has short hair, you might consider getting a coat or sweater tailored just for them.
It is also noteworthy that you keep pet bathing to a minimum when it’s cold. This helps avoid dry skin. Finally, if your pet needs a bath, use a moisturizing shampoo.