Even though we are potentially experiencing one of the largest El Nino’s in history, that doesn’t mean our pets will be protected from the cold weather this year. Already temperatures have dropped below freezing and it may get even colder once winter hits. At American Heritage Insurance Group we want to help keep all of the family members safe, warm and happy during this time of year. Many of our customers and workers have pets or own farms. We hope these tips on keeping pets safe in the cold will help your best friend(s) stay happy.
Keeping Pets Safe in the Cold Tips & Tricks
- Schedule a Preventative Wellness Exam. This will find any issues that will worsen with cold weather like arthritis.
- Know the Limits. Be mindful and aware on your pets cold tolerance.
- Provide Choices. If they are outside, provide multiples areas for them to rest throughout the day. Also inside pets might benefit from this as well if certain rooms are colder than others.
- Stay Inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside or experience brief outside periods because they can experience frostbite and hypothermia.
- Made Some Noise. Some animals will rest on warm engine cars so before starting your car, tap on the hood to scare any animals out.
- Check their Paws. Cold-weather damage to paws includes cracks and bleeding. Ice can also accumulate in the paws.
- Play Dress-Up. If your dog has a short coat or is severely affected by the cold, try a sweater or dog coat to help keep them warm.
- Wipe Down. If you take your dog outside, wipe them down after bringing them in. They can pick up harsh chemicals and having a wet coat can make them colder.
- Collar and Chip. In winter, pets are more likely to get lost due to their scents being lost in snow and ice. To make sure you can find them if this happens, have a collar with their name and emergency contact number and consider microchipping them.
- Stay Home. If you are leaving the house, leave the pets at home. Just like in the summer heat cars can become dangerously hot, in the cold they can also become dangerously cold. It’s better to leave the pet at home if possible.
- Prevent Poisoning. Antifreeze can be deadly to pets so clean up any spills.
- Protect Family. Cautiously use space heaters, furnaces, etc. when pets are in the house.
- Avoid Ice. When walking your pet, try to avoid any frozen water surfaces.
- Provide Shelter. If you have to leave your pet outside for a long time, try to provide shelter that can provide protection from the elements and can be a heat source. Aim for thick bedding, a less windy area, have a food and water bowl.
- Recognize Problems. If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down, stops moving, is weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, these are signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is hard to detect so check your pets skin every day. If you see any issues call your vet immediately.
- Be Prepared. Cold weather can cause power outages and prevent people from leaving their homes for days. When making your emergency kit for the family, remember to include your pet and their needs too.
- Feed Well. Always keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter.
- Help Neighborhood Cats. By providing simple shelter, you can help the neighborhood cats be protected from the elements.
- Horse Owners. Provide adequate shelter and dry warmth. Blankets can help keep them warm and dry. Always have food and water on hand.
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