Winter Pet Care Tips from IAMS

Thursday, January 10, 2013 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

I am sure you can tell by the photo below that our furbaby Cheyenne means the world to us. She always has to be in the mix of things in our family even sitting on people's laps while opening gifts on Christmas morning. 

Cheyenne sitting with Stephanie on Christmas morning
We make sure that even our Cheyenne is dressed for the weather because January is one of the coldest months of the year in Canada and like humans, pets need winter weather protection, too!. Characterized by subzero temperatures and blistering cold winds, we are always bundling up with jackets, scarves and gloves to keep warm, but what about our furry friends?  The Iams family and the Ontario SPCA have put together some tips on winter pet care and we hope you find them helpful when it comes to your walks and time outside. We would also love for you to share them with your readers to ensure their furry friends stay warm this winter.
  • Check ups – Take your animals for a winter checkup before the cold kicks in. Your veterinarian can check to make sure they don't have any medical problems that will make them more vulnerable to the cold. 
  • Winter fashion isn't just for humans – Just like we get dressed up to stay warm in the winter, some pets do, too! Try dressing your pet in a winter sweater, jacket or booties to keep them warm on winter walks. The outfits may not be fitting for every pet’s playful personality, but they certainly help keep them warm!
  • Take pet paw precautions - After taking your pet for a walk in the winter, be sure to wipe their paws and underside after being outside. Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice on the roads and sidewalks can irritate and burn your pet’s sensitive paws. Soaking your pet’s paws in warm water before drying them off also helps remove chunks of snow and is soothing for their pads
  • Cars in the winter are like freezers – Never leave your cat or dog unattended in the car during the cold weather months. Cars act like refrigerators and freezers in the winter and could cause your pet to suffer from severe hypothermia.
  • Consider their coat in the cold – When the temperature drops below zero, pets should not be left outside for long periods of time, especially cats and short-coated dogs and puppies as they are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures. If you have a cat or short-coated dog, only take them out for short walks and consider dressing them in sweaters to keep the heat in.
  • Hydration – Keep an eye on your pet's water bowl. It’s easy not to realize that a water bowl has frozen and your furry friend might be unable to drink. Animals that don't have access to clean, unfrozen water are more likely to drink out of puddles or gutters, which can be polluted with oil, antifreeze, household cleaners, and other chemicals.
  • Home heating – We know there is nothing better than lighting a fire to keep warm. If you plan to light a fire or plug in a space heater, remember that the heat will be as attractive to your pets as to you. As your dog or cat snuggles up to the warmth, keep an eye out to make sure that no tails or paws come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces. Pets are clumsy and also unable to undo a small mistake so remember that they can either burn themselves or knock a heat source over and put the entire household in danger.

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