Philadelphia, PA - As the coldest season, winter is a time when pets have some unique requirements to help them stay healthy and safe. To ensure your dog or cat remains happy, warm, and comfortable during the chilly season, there are a few things you can do beyond just putting on their sweater.
Here are some tips from an animal hospital in New York City to help keep your pet safe during the winter months.
Winter Precautions for Your Pet
Any outdoor excursions, especially in extremely cold or windy weather, should always be limited and at a minimum. As most animals love to frolic outside on a nice day, it's understandable if you want to bring them along for a walk.
However, winter weather can be harsh on your pet's paws and cause injuries to their skin if they're exposed for too long in the cold. You might find yourself searching for an online vet for dogs if your pet sustains injuries in the cold. If you plan on going out in the snow with your dog, make sure you put booties on them, so they don't get frostbite.
Even having warm bedding is vital for your pet in winter. Your cat or dog should have a bed specifically designed to keep them warm, as those simply covered with a blanket may not provide enough warmth for their body.
The best material for outdoor pet beds is typically synthetic instead of cloth or cotton to prevent the cold from seeping into the bed and chilling your furry friend.
Keep Them Active
Veterinarians emphasize that keeping your pet active during the winter is essential. For example, if you have a dog, give them plenty of opportunities to run around and play throughout the day so they stay energetic.
Taking them on a hike during winter will be difficult, so you should consider other options for physical activity. Additionally, take care not to overfeed your pup or kitty, as obesity can occur more frequently in animals during colder months.
Dress Them if Possible
If you're going to be outdoors with your pet and there's a possibility of them getting wet or dirty, then it is advised that you dress them.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provided some examples, such as covering their paws if they will be walking across snow and ice, along with ensuring their ears are covered up if there is a chance of frostbite forming. Winter Safety Tips
Keep Them Visible
Keep them visible to cars for those who plan to take your pet out into the snow with you on walks or to a dog park. If they are particularly light-colored or white, drivers can find it challenging to see them in a snowstorm.
If your dog is dark, you probably don't have to worry about this too much. However, if you have a cat, for example, they must wear light or reflective collar so that drivers can spot them during heavy snowfall.
Take Them to the Vet
As with any pet, you should take your cat or dog in for regular check-ups at their animal hospital. During wintertime visits, veterinarians typically look for signs of hypothermia.
As mentioned before, animals are especially prone to weight gain during the winter months if they're inactive, so you must keep an eye on their diet. Winter can also bring more parasites, such as fleas and ticks, which you'll want to get checked out for your pup or kitty.
It is crucial that if you have any pets, they are appropriately cared for during wintertime. Be sure to follow all safety precautions mentioned in this article so you can protect your furry friend.
If you own a pet and live in New York City, be sure to contact Park Vet for all of your animal hospital needs. We provide high-quality veterinary services to ensure the well-being of your pet.