How do you protect your pets during a snowstorm?
Global warming has made people a little lax with preparing for cold weather. Recently, however, temperatures have dropped dramatically in some regions.
One of the most important concerns in extra-cold weather is pet safety. According to Pet MD, dogs are at risk of hypothermia and frostbite once temperatures drop below 20 degrees. With the cold weather we’ve been having this year, it is essential to learn how to protect your pet during winter weather.
Factors that affect a pet’s tolerance to cold
There are a few factors that affect how well your pet tolerates cold weather.
- Color: Darker fur colors absorb more heat from sunlight.
- Size: Smaller animals lose body heat more rapidly than larger animals.
- Weight: A lean pet will feel the cold more than a heavy pet.
- Coat: A pet with a thicker coat is better equipped to tolerate colder weather.
- Age: Very young animals and very old animals cannot regulate their body temperature as well as a pet in its prime.
How to protect your pet during winter weather
The following tips can help protect your pet from the cold:
- Stay inside: Even if you have an outdoor pet, keep them indoors during a winter storm.
- Don’t take your pets on errands: Pets left inside an idle car will chill much more rapidly than expected. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.
- Be prepared: Winter storms can cause power outages. Keep pet supplies in your home emergency kit. This includes enough food, water and medicine to survive for 5 days.
- Wipe down your pet: On a walk, your pet may pick up toxic chemicals used to treat snow and ice. Wipe your pet down to reduce the risk of poisoning.
- Use ID tags: The winter weather can mask familiar scents. If your pet gets lost, they might not be able to find their way back home. Your pet must wear a collar with ID tags at all times. If you want to be more proactive, invest in a pet tracker.
- Put on a jacket or vest: When you get cold, you put on a jacket to help stay warm. Do the same for your pet.
- Know your pet: Recognizing behavioral changes in your pet is crucial to knowing when they are in danger. Watch for shivering, lethargy, limping and other changes in your pet’s behavior.
Winter essentials for pets
This stretchy coat for dogs has multiple layers to keep your dog warm, comfortable and dry in the winter. It also has a hole in it where you can put a leash.
Sold by Amazon
For increased warmth, this ultrasoft Sherpa fleece vest is a top choice. It attaches easily with hook-and-loop fasteners, and it can be worn on its own or as a layering piece for additional insulation.
Sold by Chewy
This waterproof, odor-proof collar has a durable D-ring for tags and a heavy-duty buckle. It is easy to adjust and clean, and it is remarkably durable in winter weather.
Sold by Amazon
Ice is dangerous. Melting that ice with hazardous chemicals can be worse. Safe Paw lets you get rid of ice without putting your pet at risk. The product is nontoxic and biodegradable, and it works at temperatures as low as negative 2 degrees.
Sold by Amazon
If your pet ever gets lost, this tracker lets you easily find them. It delivers updates every 15 seconds and can track your pet, even if they are 3,000 miles away. The battery can last 20 days on a single charge.
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