Sunday, November 16, 2014
Caring For Your Pets As The Seasons Change
The winter is slowly making it's appearance and it's time to start making our preparations. As we winterize our homes, vehicles and pools we can't forget to get our animals ready for the winter also. Our lab is an outside dog for the most part. He is a very strange soul. He has a dog house however, he refuses to go inside of it. He will sit in the rain, snow and sleet before he goes inside his house. He isn't the smartest dog on the block. Sometimes I think it isn't so much ignorance as it is brilliance. He has figured out that sitting out in the weather is his ticket to coming inside and being spoiled. At the first sight of a cloud I can hear the warning barks.
I'm sure that most dogs aren't as spoiled as ours. In preparation for winter here are a few steps to take to ensure that your 4 legged friend is well prepared.
Check your dog's house for leaks. Make sure that there are no holes in the roof and walls that allow water and drafts to enter the house. Fill any holes with caulk and cover the door with plastic stripping to block the wind.
Add a warm blanket or mat. You can also use hay or wood chipping to make a warm bed for your dog. During especially cold times you can also add a heating lamp to your dog's house. These should be used with caution to prevent a fire. During periods of extended cold weather or extremely low temperatures it is always best to bring your pets inside.
When grooming your pet during the winter, allow their hair to grow longer and thicker than during the summer months. This will allow for natural insulation against the winter cold.
Give your pet extra food and water during the winter months. Extra calories are burned keeping warm and your pet will require more food.
Use caution when doing vehicle maintenance around pets. Antifreeze has an attractive smell and taste to pets but is lethal.
Rock salt can irritate your pet's footpads. If they come in contact with rock salt rinse and dry their feel well.
Winter can be a fun and exciting time for everyone, pets included. I know my dogs love to play in the snow. With a little preparation it can be a safe and fun winter for everyone. What is your favorite winter activity with your pets?