A Holiday Survival Series: Part Four
December is the peak of the holiday season. It’s also the official start of another--winter. While there is a still beauty to the month, there can be a quiet danger that steadily grows for your pet… the winter weather. No need to fear, because at Deceased Pet Care, we’re ready to tackle part four of our Holiday Survival Series.
The off-season warmth has been replaced with temperatures dipping near the single digits, and even if our yards aren’t covered in blanket of white, your pet could be in real danger. The key concept if these icy months is “If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for you pet.”
Step One: Build a Shelter
If you can’t bring your pet inside (either for allergies or preference) make sure you build them a proper shelter. Make sure the shelter blocks the wind, covers the snowfall, and has a raised up bed of warmth for your pet to snuggle on. The ground holds the cold and can actually cause hypothermia in your pet. Also, make sure whatever ground cover you have remains dry: a wet bed can be worse than no bed at all.
If your pet will be spending any amount of time outdoors, as owners we should spend a little extra time ensuring they’re well insulated. Invest in a pet jacket or sweater, booties (especially if it snows). A fur coat isn’t enough to protect us from the biting winter air, and your pet’s natural coat most likely isn't enough either.
Just know, the cold air means less sweat. Take care to not bathe your pet unless it’s absolutely necessary. Baths during winter months can do more damage than good. Make sure your towel dry your pets to avoid dryness and irritation, use a moisturizing pet shampoo, and add a little petroleum jelly to the pads of their paws and between their toes. Warmth and Moisture are your pets best winter companions.
Step Two: Beware of Hidden Danger
Winter in all it’s beauty, brings potential hazards not found in other months. Cars are much more likely to spring a leak and those leaks are usually antifreeze. You pet might think the bright fluid is delicious, but once ingested it can prove fatal to your dog or cat. Take extra care to clean up any leaks, and if your pet is behaving strangely including but not limited to: convulsions, drunkenness, or seizures take you pet to the vet immediately.
Also, the chilly walkways are often coated in salt. While this is good for the balance-challenged, it can pose a real risk to your pet. Make sure to clean out salty snow from your pet’s paws and fur. It can cause extra irritation to your pet’s skin in addition to the regular dryness caused by the cold winter air. Also, keep a keen eye to your pet licking the ground. While a bit of salt won’t do too much damage, and excess can cause some serious digestive issues.
Finally, a warm car engine is a siren song to your cat or other small animals. When you arrive home, that warm engine block or hood is a cosy escape. Make a habit of tapping the hood several times before starting your car. If your cat is inside when you crank up, it could prove fatal.
Step Three: Know Your Nutrition
Winter has a polarizing effect on our pets. If they stay indoors, your pet is more likely to be lazy and pack on the pounds. It’s suggested to reduce your pet’s food intake by 25% to avoid weight gain. It wouldn’t hurt to have a little indoor wrestled to get the heart pumping too.
Conversely, if your pet is outside this winter, they need more fuel to keep warm. The chilly weather takes a toll on calories. Plan on adding an extra 25% to your pet’s regular food intake. They’ll be grateful you did.
So this December and beyond, let the snow fall, the ice form, and the windy chill sweep in. You and your pet will be prepared for anything Jack frost can blow your way. At Deceased Pet Care, we love our pets and want them to live life to the full. Check back in January for the final installment of our Holiday Survival Series. It’s sure to be a beautiful New Year.