When winter finally begins to be felt in California, many people run for the safety and warmth of their homes. They do not want to deal with the cold, wind, rain, and snow. Unfortunately, some people forget about the furry creatures that are under their care. After all, the cold weather affects animals just like it affects us.
Animals that are kept strictly outside should be provided with protection from the wind, rain, and snow. This means having some sort of insulated shelter with an entrance that faces away from the direction that wind usually blows. There should also be some sort of bedding on the ground, such as wood shavings, to help keep them dry and warm. The bedding should be changed or dried regularly.
Outdoor animals will also need more food, and have their water bowl checked constantly to ensure a good supply of water.
The cold also affects animals who spend most of their time indoors as well. After all, most dogs need to go outside to do their business a couple of times a day. If a pet owner wants to take good care of their furry companions this winter season, they should follow some of the tips below.
- Always accompany dogs outside. Once you are too cold to be outside, bring them inside. This prevent them from getting too cold as well as keeps someone from forgetting about the animal outside.
- Dry dog paws and bellies thoroughly after they have been outside. They could have snowballs stuck to them, even between their toes. This can lead to frostbite.
- For dogs who live near frozen roads and sidewalks, drying their feet can also remove road salts, which if linked up in large portions and can cause digestive issues in dogs.
- Dog breeds with short hair may need protective sweaters when going outside, since their fur is less suited to keeping them warm. However, don’t forget to remove and dry the sweaters after any outside trips. After all, wearing cold and wet clothes can be bad for anyone’s health.
- Keep a close eye on older animals who have arthritis. The cold can cause them to stiffen up and become tender rapidly. Keep them on a tight leash, close to you to also help prevent any slip or fall injuries to the animal.
Another thing to be aware of in winter, is the fact that outdoors cats will be seeking shelter from the cold. They love to hide in warm engine compartments on vehicles, and don’t always move before the engine is turned on. In order to prevent any harm to an unsuspecting feline, bang on the hood of the car a few times before getting in and starting it up. This should scare them off without hurting them.
The cold weather isn’t always fun to deal with. Just remember that if you don’t want to be out in the cold, your pets probably don’t enjoy it much either. Give them the love and care they need this season to ensure that they stay happy and healthy until spring comes around again.