The winter can be a difficult time for pets. Between the cold weather and all of the holiday treats, they can quickly go from being healthy and strong to overweight and sickly. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this! In this article, you will learn about some of the simple things you can do to keep your pet healthy during the winter. From changing their diet and portion sizes to adding exercise into their routine, these tips might even get your furry friend in better shape than they were during the summer!
The Havoc Winter Can Wreak On Your Pets
Wintertime can present a unique set of challenges to pet owners. The season brings colder temperatures and harsh weather that affects both the health and safety of our furry companions. Icy roads, sidewalks, and grassy areas make it difficult for them to walk around safely, while shorter days mean they may be more prone to feeling lonely due to spending more time indoors. Snow and ice can also cause their coats to become matted or damaged when they are out exploring in search of warmth or entertainment.
And as touched on in the introduction, the holiday season brings a host of temptations that can pose threats to your pet’s health. Many holiday treats and snacks, like those found in festive spreads, are high in sugar and fat – two things that are bad for your pet’s health and weight. Additionally, the cold weather means many people spend more time indoors than they would during other seasons, which can lead to your pets getting less exercise and staying inactive for longer periods of time.
Tips To Keep Your Pet Healthy During The Winter
If you would like to avoid all of the negative effects winter can have on your pets, there are a number of simple practices you can follow. The following are just a few of the best tips to keep your pet healthy during the winter:
Adjust Their Portion Size
By reducing the amount that you feed your pet, you can ensure they maintain an ideal weight throughout the colder months. This is important as excess weight can be harmful to pets contributing to joint or bone issues and other health problems. Many owners also tend to give their pets more treats during wintertime, so remember to factor this into the overall daily calories tailored for your pet.
If you haven’t tried cutting back on their food yet, begin by using a measuring cup to find the exact quantity you should be feeding them. This will give you a guide to follow, and over time you can begin to adjust their food quantities based on how they look and feel.
Keep Them Out Of The Cold
During the cold winter months, it’s also important to make sure your pets are not exposed to plummeting temperatures if they are kept outdoors. With the potential danger of hypothermia, frostbite, and other life-threatening illnesses, taking a few extra precautions can significantly improve your pet’s well-being and keep them safe from the cold. You can help insulate your pet by providing weather-proof bedding that has been filled with straw or cushioned foam.
This can protect their coat against the snow and wind and give them a cozy place to snuggle up. In addition, providing plenty of fresh water with an outdoor heated bowl can help maintain their hydration. But the best thing you can do is bring them indoors during the worst of the winter weather.
Keep Antifreeze Out Of Reach
As temperatures drop in the winter, it is important to protect your pets against potentially hazardous antifreeze that may be left outdoors. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, an ingredient that is extremely toxic to unsuspecting animals if consumed. As such, pet owners should make sure they store antifreeze containers securely and out of reach of wandering pets – either inside a locked cupboard or garage or with a properly-sealed cover so it remains inaccessible if left outside of the home.
Additionally, pet owners should also look out for any antifreeze spills in their neighborhood, as this can quickly become an easy target for hungry neighborhood critters or curious pets sniffing around for treats. As with other poisonous substances, keeping your pets away from any potential antifreeze spills is a must – and this can easily be achieved by either picking up the spill with paper towels or sweeping it up.
Pet-Proof Your Home
If your pets typically spend their time outside in the warmer months, it’s important to take additional steps when pet-proofing your home to ensure that you and your furry family member stay safe and healthy during the winter. Picking up items that may pose a hazard or become a nuisance during colder weather can help create a warm and welcoming environment for your pet. This includes picking up any electrical cords or wires they may find accessible and providing additional insulation to keep them warm while indoors.
Checking the seal around windows can also be helpful in order to prevent air leaks that could make them uncomfortable. Additionally, you’ll want to keep all potentially harmful cleaning supplies out of their reach, as well as relieve stress from potential storms by creating a safe space for them if need be.
Be Mindful Of Signs Of Illness
Winter is a time to be extra vigilant when it comes to looking out for signs of illness in your pet. Taking into account the changing season, you can be proactive and monitor their behavior more closely to guard against potential health issues. Common signs like reduced energy level or poor appetite, or conditions such as dry skin, sore joints, and recurring ear infections should not be ignored.
As an attentive and responsible pet owner, you should be aware of what constitutes normal behavior for your beloved animal so that anything out of the ordinary can be caught early on and treated immediately. Doing this will ensure your pet’s well-being and provide them with a happier and healthier winter season.
Keep Up With Daily Exercise
Staying on top of your pet’s exercise routine during the winter months is not always easy. Not only are winter days shorter and darker, making it more difficult for you to get out and about, but the colder temperatures themselves can mean walks become more daunting and uncomfortable for your furry friend. Even so, maintaining a regular exercise routine for your pets throughout the winter is just as important as it is during any other season.
Regular activity can help keep a pup healthy, prevent obesity and its associated health complications, and give them a much-needed mental break from boredom. So consider setting aside two shorter mid-day sessions per day—taking your dog on a nice brisk walk or having some fun in the backyard—and you’re sure to both get some much-needed fresh air action and maintain your fur baby’s health all season long!
Take Steps To Keep Your Pet Healthy During The Winter!
Whether you have a dog, cat, or any other type of pet, it is important to be mindful of their health and well-being during the winter. Things that might seem minor or unimportant, such as keeping antifreeze spills off the ground or maintaining a regular exercise routine, can significantly impact your pet’s health and happiness. By paying attention to these tips and being mindful of any changes in your pet’s behavior or activity level, you can ensure that they are in good health and have a happy and comfortable winter season. And while it may be a bit of extra work, your furry friend is sure to make it worth it!