There is one thing that all mammals have in common: poor thermoregulation during the cold season. Cats and dogs with trimmed or short fur are more susceptible to hypothermia during winter.
The nose area, ears, and toes of your pet are more exposed during chilly conditions. Your pet deserves proper care in these conditions. In your home, your pet should have access to dry shed shelters fitted in with heaters, a dog leash, enough food, and plenty of water.
If your pet has a habit of spending the day outside or even roaming in the backyard, you have to take necessary precaution before winter begins. The onset of winter may be a rude awakening for pets that love the outdoors. You may argue that your pal is covered with fur so he’s safe. Yes, this is true, but for many, they are not even remotely adapted for prolonged periods of exposure to freezing temperature.
This article is all about how you can make sure that your pets are well cared for when the sun rays go for a vacation. Learn about how to protect your pet when they spend time outdoors, and tips on walking during the cold weather.
Specific dog breeds like a Greater Swiss Mountain, Huskies, or German Shepherds have fur specifically for the cold weather. Short-haired cats and dogs, no matter how beautiful or well-kept their mane is, it’s never enough for thermoregulation.
During the cold season, pets can suffer from weather extremes just as mountain climbers get exposed to hypothermia even with their protective gear. Animals with short fur are more at risk as their insulation ability is lacking.
Young and Senior Pet Winter Safety
If you have a pet that loves to spend time outdoors, consider investing in some boots or a sweater. Kitties, pups, and senior dogs and cats should never be outside when the temperature drops. Young and old pets have less fat and reduced metabolism. Vets always advise that when its cold outside, a pet, no matter what their age should remain inside.
What should I do if my pet wears clothes?
Coats, boots, and scarfs always serve humans well when the chilly period arrives. But wearing clothes isn’t a natural thing for pets and need to be supervised whenever they wear something.
Cats, usually, are a little less receptive to clothes, when they have a coat on, you can’t just let it go outside to face winter on its own. It’s essential always to keep a close eye on your furball.
Your pooch might be uncomfortable with the clothing and attempt to take it off. When doing this, he might end up harming himself in the process.
Another thing to look into: ensure that the clothes fit properly and not too tight. If you neglect to check, your dog may risk poor circulation and result into frostbites.
Wild and Abandoned Cats
You probably have tried helping an abandoned feline during the cold season. This is not an easy undertaking, especially because they are used to spending time outdoors. In this case, what you need to do is cleverly lure the cat to be an indoor area.
Transitioning an outdoor cat to an indoor cat
You need to be clever with this exercise, so as not to scare the cat away. You have to start the transition before the cold arrives. Over summer, when the conditions are favorable for you to leave a window open, try and lure in the cat into your house.
You can invite Catto in and feed him while still leaving the window open. Once the cat eats, you should let them leave freely. Repeat this exercise several times until the kitty feels comfortable inside with you. Once the cat consents to staying indoors, maintain them entertained to keep their metabolism active. Indoor cats often need more stimulation than outdoor felines.
Some cats give the impression of forever loving outdoors, and no matter your efforts to keep them inside, they will only feel safe outside. However, you can still maintain such kitties safe and warm during winter. When the temperatures dip, your outdoor friend should have a safe place to snug. A shelter for an outdoor-only cat should be clean, warm and dry with plenty of fresh water.
If you are situated in an area where water freezes, make sure that you provide a birdbath water heater system to your outdoor cat. Providing shelter for your outdoor cat doesn’t necessarily have to be hard.
You can use already manufactured pet shelters or a DYI cardboard shelter. Insulate the sides with foam, blankets, and plastic, then line the floors with insulation blankets, a sleeping bag and or hay.
You should always keep their shelter clean and remove their waste regularly. Place it in the garage near your vehicle in a place where it can receive additional heat during winter. Additionally, ensure that it is actually your pet that gets the food and not other neighborhood animals.
Check for cats sleeping under the hood – Cats have a tendency of seeking shelter at unusual places during the cold season. Before starting your car, check for any cat sleeping in the engine compartment. You can bang the hood or repeatedly honk to awaken any sleeping cat. By doing this, you will be sure to save the cold cat from the moving engine parts.
Safeguard your pet with a reflector – During the long dark winter days, loitering pets can be hard to make out. What you can do about this hindrance is to cloth your pet with reflective collars and leashes designed with LED for easy prominence.
Safety during the holidays – Keeping your pet safe during winter holidays can be a bit tricky. This is because your dogs and other pets can be exposed to otherwise toxic and poisonous material.
Be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia and frostbite – In winter, dogs and cats can be exposed to extremely cold conditions. When this happens, their body temperature drops to fatal levels. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, you should keep a close eye on the following symptoms.
- Change in appetite
- Cardiac arrest
- Weak pulse rate
- Violent body shaking
The best way to manage hypothermia and other conditions associated with cold weather is to avoid the cold. Always ensure that your pet has a dry dump free shelter.
About the Author
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