Preparing Your Pet for Cold Weather
Follow these tips to keep your animals safe and comfortable during cold temperatures!
Keep Your Pets Sheltered
Either keep your pets inside with your family or provide a warm shelter outdoors. The animal shelter works best when it is raised a few inches from the ground. It should be dry, draft-free, and large enough for them to move comfortably and small enough to hold in body heat. The doorway should be as small as possible and can be covered with waterproof burlap or thick plastic. Only use materials like blankets and towels on the inside if you are certain that water cannot get inside the shelter. These will retain wetness and could do the opposite of keeping your animal warm. Straw is a great insulating material to use and it is less prone to mold or rot than hay.
Check in on your neighbors during this holiday season and make sure they have the means to keep their pets safe! Some pet owners are simply not aware of the dangers that cold weather poses to their animals. If you know of anyone who needs help making an outdoor shelter for their animal, Lee County Humane Society is more than happy to help! LCHS collects pet shelters to give to those in need. If you’d like to donate a dog or cat-house you can drop it off at LCHS Sunday - Friday from 12-5 pm.
Increase Portion Sizes
Animals who spend a lot of time outdoors need a larger amount of food because their energy is depleted trying to keep warm. Check the water dish to make sure it is fresh and not frozen. Remember to use plastic food and water bowls to keep your pet’s tongue from sticking to metal bowls. Keep the water bowl outside of the shelter to keep it from getting turned over and spilled inside.
Dress Up Your Pet
Even windchill can threaten your animal when its nose, ears, and paw pads are exposed to extreme cold. Think about what your animal will be exposed to while you’re outdoors and act accordingly. It may not act like it at first, but your dog will appreciate a sweater even during a short walk. Brushing your dog will help their full coat to grow in. Take care to remove clumpy, matter fur as it doesn’t insulate your animal as well as a clean coat does.
Check Your Vehicle
Cars are a huge hazard to small animals during cold weather. To avoid injuring any hidden animals under the hood, bang on the hood to scare them away before you start your engine.
Do you have any questions about keeping your pet safe during cold weather? Come by Lee County Humane Society or give us a call Sunday through Friday anytime from 12-5 pm.