With the winter season just right around the corner, your pet could be in for some unexpected health issues without the proper know-how and planning. And in case you’re looking for ways to protect your animal family member even more during winter, then you’ve definitely come to the right place.
Make sure you follow along because I will walk you through 16 very important winter pet safety tips to keep your fur baby as healthy and happy during the holidays. I’d just like to highlight that these pointers may even help your animal family member keep clear from potentially life-threatening situations during this time.
Without further ado, let’s get right to it…
1. Keep your pet mostly indoors.
Temperatures can dip significantly during winter and often at times you don’t expect them to. Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, pets need to be mostly indoors during this time of the year regardless of how thick or bushy their coats may be.
Besides being prone to frostbite and hypothermia (or extremely low body temperature), these sudden drops in the temperature can also make your pet vulnerable to prolonged bouts of confusion and disorientation. If you’re noticing that the climate is already too cold for your preference, chances are your animal family member feels the same way as well.
Moreover, while this may sound surprising, it is also crucial to remember that leaving your animal family member inside your vehicle during wintertime is a big no-no. This is because he can possibly lose a lot of body heat in this situation, even reaching life-threatening levels in some cases.
2. Give your animal family member the right nutrition.
Your pet’s diet plays a very important role in his overall health and wellness during the winter season. Apart from providing the necessary body fuel to support your fur baby’s regular activities, the nutrition he gets during this time also helps him properly keep warm and toasty.
The best foods to give your animal family member during this time of the year are those that have lots of protein and fiber. However, keep in mind to go easy on the carbohydrate-rich stuff since these can make him feel bloated and sluggish especially with the cold weather.
And while there’s nothing wrong with handing your pet Thanksgiving leftovers, remember to only go for plain turkey meat, vegetables like steamed green beans, and unseasoned mashed potato. If it comes in a can or has artificial flavorings, make a hard pass.
Pro-tip: Heating your pet’s food a bit before serving also makes the whole thing more enjoyable for him.
3. Store potentially dangerous chemicals properly.
Given the time your pet spends indoors during wintertime, chances are he could be tempted to get a little nosy sooner than you’d expect. This is why you should store potentially harmful chemicals appropriately or else your animal family member could get to them without a warning.
These include antifreeze, drain cleaners, chlorine bleach, oven cleaners, dry cleaning solutions, as well aerosol sprays, among others. Besides triggering a choking-like sensation, these chemicals can also set off serious health consequences like chronic breathing difficulties and even death if ingested in large amounts.
Moreover, keeping in mind to get rid of chemical leaks and spills as soon as possible is also crucial. This is because your animal family member has the tendency to lick his paws whenever he comes across these things. And when he does, disaster could happen in a flash.
4. Give your pet’s paws ample protection against the elements.
And while we’re on the subject, your fur baby’s paws are extremely vulnerable to various types of skin issues like chafing, rashes, blisters, and even frostbite during the winter season. This is why you should give his paws extra care and attention so you and your pet won’t be in for any unexpected problems before you know it.
Apart from applying a sufficient amount of coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, or a similar natural moisturizer on your animal family member’s paws before taking him outside for a short walk or exercise, making sure to carefully wipe them down afterwards is also crucial.
His paws could have been in contact with irritants like chemicals used to deice sidewalks, big chunks of rock salt, as well as various debris. He could also be prone to other health issues like poisoning and irritation should he lick his paws, too.
5. Hydration is crucial even during the wintertime.
Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, dehydration doesn’t just take place when the weather is hotter than usual. This pet health issue also happens during wintertime and it can still be as severe to your animal family member’s overall wellness.
Make it a point to always give your fur baby a more than adequate amount of water to drink during this time of the year. It is also important to bring some water with you if you’re outside for a bit of exercise with your pet.
Pro-tip: One simple way of checking if your animal family member is reasonably hydrated is by looking at his gums. If they are pink, you’re good to go. However, your pet needs a drink of water immediately if they look pale or a bit too red.
6. Designate more comfortable potty stations.
The cold winter weather can make it rather difficult for your pet to answer the call of nature, especially for dogs that tend to do their business outside. While one solution is shoveling a small patch of ground close to your home, another is designating a temporary indoor potty station.
You can have it in your garage, patio, or some other part of your home that is suitably protected against the elements. Don’t forget to properly dispose of your pet’s waste daily to keep contamination and feces-borne diseases at bay.
7. Always check under the hood.
Your animal family member can find the warmth that your vehicle radiates inviting during the winter season. This is especially common among cats and they will either position themselves under a vehicle or even wriggle their bodies under the hood in some cases.
Before starting your engine, remember to pop the hood first to check if your animal family member may have snuck inside. Make sure you also examine your vehicle’s underside—particularly the tires—for any pet stowaways while you’re at it.
One simple way of pulling this off is by repeatedly knocking on the hood for a few seconds. Apart from waking up any snoozing pet that may have gotten too cozy in your vehicle, it’s also his cue to look for another place to relax.
8. Keep space heaters away from your animal family member’s reach.
Space heaters are one of the most popular appliances used during wintertime for their ability to provide portable, no-fuss, and instant warmth. But the thing is you can’t use these things unattended, especially when you’ve got a pet in your household.
Apart from being a fire hazard, an unattended space heater can also give your animal family member a nasty burn if he inadvertently gets to it. The most straightforward way of preventing this from happening is placing a barrier between a space heater and an inquisitive fur baby.
As an alternative approach, you can also place the space heater in an elevated area where your pet can’t get to.
9. Baths play a key role during the winter season.
Contrary to popular belief, you still need to give your animal family member a bath when the winter season comes. Besides keeping his skin properly moisturized, giving your pet regular baths during this time of the year also helps get rid of unwanted chemicals and salt that may have become stuck to his coat.
Moreover, keep in mind to give your pet adequate brushings and combings to prevent tangles and mats from forming on his coat. Once these things get in picture, grooming can be a rather uncomfortable experience for your fur baby.
10. A meticulous wipedown is needed when getting inside.
Wiping down your pet as soon as you get inside the house after a quick walk or exercise serves two very important purposes.
First, it gets rid of the salt and chemicals that may have adhered to his coat. And second, doing so also removes snow and dries off unnecessary moisture that could make his body temperature drop.
Remember to pay close attention to certain areas like the belly, the inside of the thighs, between the toes, as well as the inner parts of the footpads. You can also check for injuries and signs of frostbite while you’re at it.
11. Be mindful of the time your pet spends outdoors.
I’d just like to reiterate that regardless of how thick or bushy your pet’s coat is, he will still be susceptible to the significantly colder weather during the winter season. In case you really have to take your animal family member outside, keep in mind to keep it short and quick.
Additionally, schedule your quick winter walks when the sun is still up. This is because snow tends to mask crucial scents that could make your fur baby become disoriented and may even make him at risk of injury. Having sufficient visual awareness significantly prevents this from happening.
12. Never walk on frozen bodies of water.
No matter how tempting it may be, trudging on frozen bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and ponds with your animal family member is a big no-no. It’s possible that they cannot support your combined weight and may crack, leading to the both of you falling over.
And when this takes place, the possibility of hypothermia is extremely high, which can result in fatal consequences in pets in most cases. The same rationality applies to swimming pools that may have frozen over during wintertime.
13. Make your animal family member feel extra warm during winter.
Your pet will need extra sources of warmth during the winter season. It is essential that apart from providing your fur baby with thick blankets and beddings to make him feel extra toasty, fitting him with season appropriate garments like sweaters and booties should also be on your checklist.
Like I said earlier, while using a space heater can help make your animal family member feel more comfortable this time of the year, this appliance should never be left unattended or be easily accessible by your fur baby to avoid any untoward incidents.
14. Moisturizing your pet’s skin is a must.
Skin issues like itching and flaking can get in the picture when wintertime comes. This is why it is crucial to moisturize your animal family member’s skin every single day to stave off these health issues.
You can use natural moisturizers such as sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and aloe vera to do this. Moreover, having a humidifier handy during the coldest season of the year won’t just help make your home feel a little bit warmer, but also keeps skin dryness and inflammation at bay.
15. Engage your animal family member in regular indoor activities.
Your pet is prone to weight gain during the winter season, especially when he has no regular outlet to keep him active. Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, though, there are actually a lot of ways to pull this off.
Some of the activities that you can go for include indoor catch, hide and seek, using a pet-friendly laser pointer, setting up an obstacle course, organizing a treasure hunt, as well as having a brisk walking or jogging session using a treadmill.
16. Always be prepared for emergencies.
Wintertime emergencies like power outages and road blockages can be triggered by high winds, continuous snowfall, and unexpected blizzards. It is crucial that you have an emergency plan that includes your animal family member should these things happen out of the blue.
Apart from stocking up on a more than adequate amount of food and water, making it a point to have natural moisturizers and similar remedies is also highly recommended to ensure your animal family member’s comfort and well-being.
And speaking of emergencies during the winter season, here’s something you should consider having in your pet checklist…
A High-Quality Natural Kit To Include In Your Home Pet Care Ensemble
Zumalka’s EMERGENCY KIT was designed with proactivity in mind. If you’re looking to get your hands on a reliable go-to kit when it comes to unexpected winter season health issues, this combination of natural products will help you get the peace of mind you’ve always wanted.
Formulated to promote and support your animal family member’s intestinal health, digestion, hydration levels, as well as overall immune system response, EMERGENCY KIT will help ensure that your pet will be happy and healthy during wintertime.
And given that all of the products in EMERGENCY KITare made from premium natural ingredients, your beloved animal family member won’t be also in for sudden adverse side effects usually triggered by chemical-based conventional medicines anytime soon.
Maintaining your pet’s ideal quality of life during the winter season isn’t that tricky at all. You just have to keep a few important things in mind to successfully pull the whole thing off. And I hope you’ve learned a lot from the comprehensive yet easy-to-follow list that I’ve walked you through.
In case you’re planning to discover more about homeopathy to keep your animal family member as happy and healthy as can be, you can also check out our ONLINE HOMEOPATHIC CONSULTATION right now.
Besides targeting the root of your pet's problem, instead of just dealing with the symptoms, our ONLINE HOMEOPATHIC CONSULTATION also provides a personalized solution for your animal family member’s health concerns. And all of this done in the comfort of your own home, too.
Naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way!
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.
Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).
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