Photo credit: Syrena McMillen
Even in the mildest of Ohio winters, we’re bound to have some ice, snow, sleet, and biting winds. Yet, our animal pals will generally still want (and need) outdoor time to stay fit and happy. If you’re a seasoned dog or cat owner, these winter tips may seem like old news. For newbies though, this article from the Humane Society does a great job of highlighting some of the essential facts to help you be more prepared. If you haven’t been on top of these winter tips yet, don’t worry – this is the Ohio River Valley: we still have at least three months of winter left :-)… plenty of time for practicing good winter pettiquette.
Here are a few highlights from the article:
- Under no conditions, should cats be left outdoors in cold winter, even if they roam in other seasons.
- If dogs are outdoors for any length of time, they need a dry, draft-free space that is off the ground and helps trap their body heat for added warmth.
- Even in mild temperatures, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Ask your vet for advice on how well your breed typically handles cold weather, and consider sweaters, scarves, or pet capes, especially for short hair dogs.
- Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors in the cold will need to eat more to keep up their energy.
- Both salt and antifreeze can be dangerous to your animals, even if they don’t appear bothered by it. Wipe all paws with a damp cloth after coming in contact with either before they get a chance to lick them.
- Animals are drawn to warm car engines in cold seasons so check under the car before starting it in the winter, especially if you know there are outdoor cats in the area.
Be sure to bundle yourself up appropriately too! Getting the right winter gear for walking or spending time outdoors with your animals is essential to making sure you both have a super fun, super healthy season.
First doggie sweater? We got your backs!
Fit and material are the very important things to think about when shopping for a dog sweater… after you’ve determined that your dog is a breed that would actually benefit from a sweater that is. Check out this article for tips on how to find the perfect sweater; though, in the end, your best bet is to take your dog to the store with you to try before you buy.
If you happen to bring home the wrong size though, a few snips in the arm holes may be all you need to make your sweater snuggle-approved.
Thanks to Ann and Hannah, two of our My Furry Valentine family members, for a sharing a little pet cape inspiration from their own pups! And to Moose (my snoozy furball) for indulging his mom’s great sweater-quest.