Dealing with the cold winter temperatures is never a fun time. Having to bundle up to go anywhere, your car struggling to start and freezing cold skin are only some of the downsides of this frigid season. But while things are hard for us, they are also difficult for our pets.
But unlike us, pets can’t make their own lifestyle changes to deal with and prepare for the cold. Because of this, you need to do it for them. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to ensure your pet has a great time this winter. This blog post is going to go over six of them.
1. Get Them an Outdoor House or Structure
While many pets want to stay indoors in the winter, that isn’t always the case. Whether it is a dog that needs to do its business outside, or a cat who likes spending time outside, some pets won’t be cooped up inside all winter.
If your pet is going to spend some time outside, be sure to provide them with a cozy and comfortable outdoor structure. This gives them a place to relax, as well as a place to escape the ice, wind and snow. Be sure to check out this furry friends gear blog article to learn more about them and their benefits.
2. Bathe Them Less Frequently
If you have a dog, you know the importance of bathing. It keeps them looking great and smelling fresh. Unfortunately, like humans, a pet’s skin can dry out after a bath. Unlike us, they are unable to put on moisturizer to fix this issue. And dry skin in the winter can be incredibly uncomfortable for a pet to deal with.
So instead of bathing them at the same frequency you would in the summer, consider cutting it down a bit. Also, a wet dog in cold temperatures is likely going to get quite cold, so when you do bathe them, be sure to dry them off well and let them dry off fully before sending them outside.
3. Be Careful With Walks
Whether it is hot or cold out, your dog will likely still want to go out for walks. But you need to be careful with these walks, and they will often look very different from walks in the summer. First of all, you should keep them short to ensure you and your pet don’t get too cold.
You will also want to walk at times of the day where the sun is shining, for that little bit of extra warmth. When choosing the walking path, choose an option that is free of snow or ice if possible, or have a pair of shoes or boots for your pet so their paws don’t get harmed. Be sure to pay more attention to the protection of your dog’s paws during the winter than in other seasons.
4. Give Them a Cozy Spot to Sleep
While many dogs or cats will be content sleeping on the floor in the summer, this is often not the case in the winter. They want something cozy to warm them up, and unfortunately, they are normally unable to build a spot themselves. As a result, you need to do it for them.
Find the spot where your pet likes to lounge or sleep, and make it as cozy as possible. You can use some blankets, a cushion or even purchase a dedicated cat or dog bed. For best results, consider putting this in a spot that gets hit by the sun, as most pets love to lay around in the sun during the day, as well.
5. Avoid Shaving Off Their Fur
Both dogs and cats are blessed with a long coat of thick fur that can act like a warm winter jacket. This helps them deal with the cold temperatures with ease. But if you shave off their coat in the winter, they lose this protection and can be much more prone to the cold.
While haircuts in the summer are great, you generally want to avoid cutting your pets fur too short in the winter. A small trim is fine, but don’t take down the bulk too much. If you do, the pet will have a much higher chance of having to deal with frostbite or another similar issue.
6. Consider Changing Up Their Diet
Another tip to remember is to consider changing up how much you are feeding your pet. Pets are generally less active in the winter than the summer, and thus will often need less food. If you continue to feed them the same amount, they are sure to gain weight and become more unhealthy.
However, pets also use more energy to keep warm, so if a pet is just as active in the winter as in the summer, they might actually need a little more food. Of course, start small and slowly increase the amount if you see fit. The last thing you want to do is overfeed your pet, so be careful.
In conclusion, using the aforementioned six tips will be able to help you keep your pet warm, comfortable and safe this winter.