Winter weather is here, and that means it’s time to prepare to care for your pet through the cold months. While many dogs and cats will be just fine until spring arrives. However, others have special circumstances that require your attention. Here are a few tips from Pampered Pet Sitting on helping you keep your animal healthy without denting your budget.
Understanding Winter Worries
If you’ve never had a pet during the winter before, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. The first is that frostbite is possible if temperatures dip too low. Even if you have a dog with a thick, long coat, its tail, nose, and ears remain vulnerable. If they are outside, they need a way to retreat from the cold, such as a dog door or insulated dog house. There are also dangers lurking well below your eye level. For example, antifreeze and ice melt.
Some dogs are also more vulnerable to seasonal allergies, including those that cause coughing, sneezing, and irritated skin. Many older animals, and especially those with arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases, may suffer more throughout the cold weather months with joint stiffness and pain. Pay close attention to your pet regardless of age, Pet Health Network notes that joint diseases can manifest as early as two years of age.
Keep Pets Safe During Winter
To avoid antifreeze, frostbite, and other situational dangers, it’s best to keep your pet indoors unless you are actively walking them. However, other issues, such as skin allergies caused by the cold and joint pain may take a bit more work.
Pets with skin conditions may benefit from being regularly bathed and groomed by a service like Paws Salon. Maryland-based Old Farm Veterinary Clinic notes that some breeds can benefit from bathing every four weeks. This can help keep their skin and fur clean, which reduces the number of contact irritants in their coat. A qualified groomer can help you determine if your pet needs bathing this often or if you can stretch it out to once per season. If you choose to bathe at home, look for dog shampoos that are free of perfumes and dyes, as these may aggravate already itching skin.
Keep Indoors Out of Winter Cold
For animals with arthritis, winter is the perfect time to give them a space to call their own on the lowest level of your house. Larger dogs, especially, tend to struggle with stairs when also dealing with joint disorders, and it’s not always easy to pick up a 125-pound pet to move them up the stairs and onto the sofa. Keep in mind here that if you are living in an apartment complex on the top floor, it might be in your best interest to find an apartment that is pet-friendly, and one that has a unit available at ground level. You can look online at the different apartment and condo complexes to see which one in your area has the best amenities and availability.
No matter where you live, you’ll also need to keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable level. During the winter, anywhere between 69° and 72° is enough to keep them comfortable and warm so their joints remain limber and pain-free. That also means it’s worth checking your windows for leaks since that can make it especially hard to heat your home. If you need help, simply search Angi for “window leak repair near me” and browse their ratings and reviews. Note that the national average for window repair is about $290.
Keep Pets Cozy
Winter is here, and that means fewer ticks and fleas, but there are still dangers lurking around every corner. Be diligent, and clean up any potential poisons, especially if you live in an area where you must continually salt the walkways. You also want to keep your pet cozy through the winter months by making sure they can avoid stairs and keeping them warm until spring has sprung.
You can rest assured that Pampered Pet Sitting has the ability, knowledge, maturity, and experience to care for your beloved pets. Call 660-747-3554.