Winter Pet Safety
With the days getting shorter and the air getting colder it's always a good idea to make sure "Fido" is safe. When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep all animals indoors except when exercising or relieving themselves. “Outdoor” dogs should have a dry, comfortable, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in his body heat. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic to help keep the cold air out. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Most pet stores carry safe heated floor mats and non-electric warm bedding.
During the winter pets require more calories in lower temperatures because exercise is more strenuous and higher fuel intake helps your pet to maintain body temperature. Also, make sure your petst have fresh water at all times. Check the water bowl regularly to ensure it’s full and unfrozen. Use a tip-proof bowl to keep Fido’s paws from freezing. And never use a metal water bowl— the tongue will stick to wet metal, and injury will result.
Another point of caution during the winter is de-icing salts and chemicals. If your dog’s paws come in contact with salt and de-icing chemicals during a walk, rinse the feet off and dry thoroughly once you’re back inside.
Keeping these few things in mind will help ensure that everybody in the family, including Fido, will have a safe, comfortable winter.