The wintertime makes us all low-energy, wanting to cuddle up in blankets with a warm cup of tea and watch Netflix until the temperatures rise again. While there’s no shame in embracing these feelings, you still have everyday tasks, people, and animals that depend on you.
Your furry companion relies on you for food, shelter, and guidance, and their needs change with the weather. You’ll need to pay extra attention to their needs to keep them safe and healthy in freezing temperatures.
Let’s explore six vital aspects to consider:
Get an Outdoor Home:
You might see your kitty or puppy as indoor creatures but think about it. They often go outside, lie around, play, or bask in the sun away from the family life hustle and bustle.
You could prohibit them from exiting the house outside walking hours, but they won’t enjoy staying cooped up indoors for months on end. It’s better to provide them with a comfy outdoor structure where they can relax safely and comfortably.
If you’re crafty, try your hand at DIY-ing the shelter. Otherwise, find the best outdoor cat house online and solve the issue without ever picking up a hammer.
Bathe Less Frequently:
Your cat takes care of its cleaning schedule without any input on your end, but it’s different with dogs. You have to give them baths to avoid nasty smells and mud caked on the fur.
Washing should happen less often throughout the cold months, though. Otherwise, their skin dries out, making them itchy and uncomfortable.
When you do bathe your pup, be sure it’s dry and warm before going outside. Purchase a hydrating shampoo to moisturize skin and fur, too.
Your fluffy dog likely needs a haircut now and again to stay clean and move with more ease.
However, a Christmas shaving only does them harm.
The fur acts as a thick winter coat, helping them deal with the wind, sleet, and snow. Stick to small trims to avoid frostbite and leave a thorough shaving for the springtime.
Modify the Walks:
Although you might want to linger inside, your pet still needs its daily outing to feel good. A few changes are a must to make the walk work for both of you, though. Notably:
- Keep it short, even if it means higher frequency.
- Try to go out while it’s sunny outside.
- Choose clear paths.
- Watch what they’re doing as they enjoy the snow.
You could also get them a pair of winter booties to protect their paws from freezing or soaking in a harmful chemical.
Alter the Diet:
The amount of food an animal needs directly correlates with its size, activity levels, and outside temperatures. Some modification is often necessary for winter, but it could go in either direction:
- Less food. If you notice your furry friend lounging around much more than usual, cut down on the feeding.
- More food. We expand calories on body heat maintenance. Feel free to fill the bowl to the brim if the pet is energetic and active, especially if you have a cat.
It’ll take some trial and error to get this right, but as long as you carefully watch them before and after meals, you’ll get it right in no time.
Protect Heat Sources:
Warm radiators and stoves are attractive relaxation spots for a freezing pet arriving home from a walk.
However, your animal can’t gauge the exact surface warmth, and they’ll jump on it without a care in the world. The next thing you know, you’re rushing to an emergency vet appointment to tackle burnt paws.
Always keep hot surfaces blocked or otherwise out of reach. Cover the radiators with a thick blanket to prevent burns, and don’t leave a puppy alone in a room with an active stove. These tips will help when dealing with a radiator.
In a Nutshell:
The key takeaway is simple. Your pets, just like your human loved ones, need some extra TLC to endure the bleak winter months.
You don’t have to do a 180 on your regular routines, but keep their well-being in mind, and they’ll be happy and full of energy when the time comes for longer spring outings.