Winter is here! Here are some tips for taking care of animals in the colder weather.
Dogs and cats are companion animals, and they belong indoors with the family, especially during colder weather. Although they have fur coats, most are not able to keep themselves at a comfortable and safe temperature when left outside.
Animals also need more calories in the winter to ward off the cold. Increase your pet’s food ration accordingly, especially if your pet engages in a lot of outdoor activities.
All animals need access to fresh and unfrozen water, which can be a challenge this time of year. Check water twice a day. If you must have your pets outside, a heated water dish is a must.
Antifreeze is a chemical that tastes sweet to animals, so be sure that there are no puddles or drops of it around your driveway or garage. They are likely to ingest it, and this can be fatal. De-icing and ice melting products can also be toxic.
Cats and wildlife often will take refuge in and around warm engines. If you keep your vehicle outside, make sure you bang on the hood before starting it, to make sure there are no animals trying to keep warm inside.
If your animals have to spend time outside, make sure they have proper shelter from the weather and the cold.
Sick or older animals are particularly sensitive to the cold. Make sure they are only outside when absolutely necessary, and provide them with warm, comfy places to sleep.
Animals, like humans, need extra care in the cold weather. Stay tuned for another column specifically about cats and dogs!