Chilly weather, early sunsets, and harsh conditions are large risk factors for our pets – especially senior dogs, small dogs, short-haired dogs, and puppies. By taking precautions, you can ensure your pet stays happy and healthy. Here are tips for ensuring your pet is safe as the weather changes and the temperatures drop.
1. Check the Weather
Even with stabilizing temperatures in winter, conditions can be unpredictable. Rain, snow, hail, sun; don’t let unexpected changes catch you off guard. Plan on thoroughly checking weather conditions before taking your pet outdoors for any amount of time, even if you’re just planning on a short walk.
But remember, dogs need exercise even during the winter months. If the weather is below freezing, try to keep walks shorter and spend more time playing indoors. Indoor exercise can include fetch in the living room, agility at a local training center, or even a dog-friendly treadmill. In dangerous winter storms, you may need to consider giving your dog bathroom breaks in the garage or on strips of turf or doggy litter boxes you can buy online.
2. Purchase Protective Dog Clothing
Live in an area where it snows by December? In these places, it’s common for people to throw salt on the ground to help melt the ice. This process is detrimental to your dog’s paws. During your walks try to avoid salt on the sidewalk and you may even consider investing in dog boots. These boots will protect your pooch from the salt and keep his/her paws warm. They’ll also help to avoid frostbite and cracked skin. When trying on boots, put all four on his/her feet to see how they fit. If your dog is sensitive to wearing dog boots, you can consider a protective topical to put on your dog’s paws before walks. After walks, thoroughly clean your dog’s paws and reapply the ointment.
Small dogs, senior dogs, and dogs with short coats may need an extra layer. Consider a warm winter sweater or waterproof coat to put on your dog when you go for walks. Some companies sell dog-safe heated blankets and heated dog beds for when your dog comes inside and needs to warm up.
3. Calm Situational Stress with Hemp Oil
Winter is a time of many indoor gatherings. Close friends and family, neighbors, and co-workers may come over for get-togethers or dinner. Extra people in your home can create more stress for your pets.
Winter storms can also cause stress for your dog. Changes to routine, more time indoors, and frigid temperatures are uncomfortable even for humans. There’s a reason many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the winter season. Dogs may experience the same emotions.
4. Help Integrate Your New Routine
With the children in school and shorter days, your pet may be home alone more, and this can cause separation anxiety; a type of situational stress that occurs in both cats and dogs.
When cats experience this, they may meow when you leave, go to the bathroom outside the litter box, or refuse to eat. Dogs will howl, destroy their surroundings, and defecate around the house.
Consider giving your cat a scratching post, plenty of toys, and our Feline Stress Releaf to ease temporary stress. If you have a dog, start incorporating Edibites or Stress Releaf Hemp Oil as a daily supplement and reward.
Make the new routine enjoyable for the entire by coming up with ways to make winter fun. Enroll in an obedience or agility class at your local training facility, take your dog for longer walks during the warmest parts of the day, or buy new enrichment toys for the home like puzzles and fetch toys. Winter is a great time to teach new tricks and work on fundamentals at home.
We know you love your pets and want them to feel great throughout the year. This winter, make that possible by incorporating these tips.