Cool Weather and Our Pets

iStock_000005429377_Large.jpgThe temps will drop soon, changing the landscape and our habits. Instead of laying out in our yards or playing at the park, we are instead raking leaves and plodding through the pumpkin patch.

Not surprisingly, the fall and winter months present their own unique challenges for pet owners. Pets can suffer from extreme cold, just as they can from extreme heat, and it’s best to be aware of what your pet is up against as the temps begin to dip. So bundle up and learn a little more about cool weather and pets.

Winter’s Coming

As the temps begin to drop and a chill settles into the air, consider the following for your pet’s safety and health:

  • Senior Pets – Our older pets are much more sensitive than other pets as they have a harder time regulating their temperature. Be conscious of how the weather affects your senior pet and adjust his or her routine accordingly.
  • Exposure to Moisture – Moisture and cold air, when mixed, can be lethal. Be mindful of keeping your pet warm and dry, especially on cold days.
  • Put your cats indoors – Our feline friends are more susceptible to cold than our canine friends. Consider keeping kitties inside during the cold months, or (at the very least) setting up a warm, weather-proof nest if they must remain outdoors.
  • Fun and games – Keeping your pet active during the cold months can be a challenge, but it must be done. Look for toys that will mentally stimulate your pets on those grey days and take whatever opportunities you can get out with your dogs for a walk or a run.
  • Keep your pets at home – It may seem safe in a car during the winter but don’t confine your pet to cold temperatures, hypothermia is just as deadly as hypothermia.
  • Speaking of cars – Car engines are warm after running and can offer a dry refuge from the rain; unfortunately this can be a deadly enticement for outdoor cats (and other animals) so be certain to knock on your car’s hood as a warning when you get in.
  • Antifreeze – Antifreeze contains a toxic alcohol to keep itself from freezing, unfortunately this compound is sweet in taste and catastrophic to your pet’s liver, it will permanently and often fatally harm your pet if he or she consumes any amount.

Keep Pets Safe in Cool Weather

As the weather gets cooler, please take the time to make sure your best four-legged friends are protected from the elements. Whether this means Sorrels for your Schnauzer, an orthopedic bed for your older pet, or a kushy condo for your kitty to watch the world from, your pets will appreciate the warm and cozy home you provide as the cold weather of winter settles in.