We’re smack dab in the middle of winter, and with colder weather here to stay, your pets need a little extra seasonal care. Chemicals used to keep roads safe for driving can pose danger for curious pets, and the drop in temperature can lead to chapped paws or dry and flaky skin. From booties to moisturizing shampoo, we’ve put together a Winter Weather Pet Care guide that will keep your four-legged friend safe (and warm!) all season long.
Winter Weather Pet Care
- Switching between the cold outdoors and a warm home can cause your pet to develop itchy, dry, and flaking skin. The key? Keep your home well-humidified, which will prevent your dog’s skin from drying out too quickly after their daily walk. When you return home, keep a towel near the door so you can immediately dry your pet off, and remove any ice balls that might have attached to their paws, tail, and other parts of the body.
- It might seem contradictory, we know, but bathing your pet less frequently in the winter time is actually a good thing. Too frequent washing in the winter can remove the naturally occurring, protective oils and lead to dry skin. Adding a moisturizing shampoo or rinse to the bathing routine during the winter months can help your pet retain moisture, and prevent itching or flaking skin.
- Winter roads are often covered with ice-melting agents, which can pose a danger to your pet. If you’re using an ice-melt on your own driveway or sidewalks, use pet-friendly ones, just in case your furry friend gets to wandering (and licking). Booties also provide an extra layer of protection against the cold, as well as any ice-melting agents that end up sticking to their paws. In addition to booties, you can apply a coat of petroleum jelly to your pet’s paws pre-walk, which will protect them from salt and other chemical agents.
- In the winter months, we suggest letting your pet’s hair grow for an extra protective layer of warmth; if you do trim their hair, don’t shave them down to the skin. For long-haired pets, trimming just a bit of length will do the job to prevent ice balls from attaching to them while outside. For naturally short-haired pets, consider a puppy jacket or sweater.
- This one’s short and sweet: anti-freeze is lethal to pets. Stay vigilant all season long about spills on your driveway or in your garage, and consider using propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.
- Keep your pets leashed! Snow and wet weather conditions can obscure the scents that would usually lead your loose pet home.
- It’s normal for pets to burn through more energy in the winter time in order to keep themselves warm. Allow them some extra food to account for the extra calories they’ll be burning, and plenty of water to prevent dry skin.
- Last but not least, make sure your pet has a warm and cozy place to snuggle into for sleeping. Doggy beds and blankets should be placed away from any drafty areas of the home.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind all winter long: if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Following these tips will keep your pet warm and happy, and most importantly – safe and healthy!