With temperatures dropping to below freezing, here are some steps to take to protect your pets this winter.
Just like people, an animals' tolerance to cold varies from animal to animal based on their overall health, coat type, activity level and body fat content. Consider taking the following steps to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable this winter.
- If it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your pet. Consider bringing your pets indoors in the winter. If this is not possible, ensure they have a solid shelter that is protected against wind and other winter weather elements. Ensure they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water and thick, dry bedding that is up off the ground.
- Keep your dog on a leash when out walking. Not only is this the law in unincorporated Snohomish County, but it helps ensure they stay away from toxic chemicals that are common in the winter like antifreeze and deicer.
- A warm vehicle engine may attract feral or outdoor cats. Check under your car, bang on the hood and honk the horn to ensure the animal can safely retreat before starting the car.
- Limit their exposure to the cold by taking shorter walks and wiping down your pet's feet and belly when they come back inside to remove snow, ice and deicer.
- Pets burn extra energy in the wintertime. Consult with your vet about feeding them a little more during cold weather months.
- Make sure your pets are licensed and microchipped as snow and ice hide recognizable scents pets use to find their way back home if they get loose.
- Cold cars pose a significant risk to your pet's health so leave your pet at home.
- Winter is the perfect time to schedule your pet's annual veterinarian exam.