By Alexis Lignos, Public Relations Assistant
With approximately 78.2 million owned dogs and 86.4 million owned cats in the United States, our pets are a big part of our family that we must always support with unconditional love and care. During the winter, we must pay extra special attention to our animals throughout the abrupt seasonal changes to keep them happy, healthy, and comfortable.
1) Annual Check-up: First things first, it is always good to keep your loyal friend healthy by taking them for a winter check-up to make sure they are in good medical condition. Just like you have a case of seasonal body aches, your pet may also be suffering a similar illness. And do not forget, the cold weather affects your pet just as much as it may affect you!
2) Keep Your Pet Warm: As a dog lover and owner, I walk my Bichon Frise named “Fuzzy” about 2-3 times per day. Since we rescued him from the local animal shelter, we take extra special care of him. During the winter, he has his own style with his trendy dog sweaters and vests to keep his small body warm. This is an excellent idea for purchase because they are inexpensive, readily available for purchase at your local pet store or online and keep your loved one from becoming sick. If your pet is a breed with longer hair, they may be able to spend more time outdoors, but never-the-less, all animals are vulnerable to the cold. Also, when you bathe your animal, be sure you blow dry him or her after, this way they do not catch a cold when they leave your home.
3) Never Leave Them Alone Outdoors: With the below freezing temperatures we may experience during the winter months, comes the lovely sight of snow beneath our feet and also an extremely dangerous time period to leave your pets alone outdoors. If you live near a body of water that may freeze, be aware if your pet wanders towards it. The last thing someone needs is having to rescue their pet from a body of freezing water. Also, as ice begins to form on the ground, people tend to put down rock salt and chemical ice salts in order to melt the snow to avoid accidents or falls from occurring. These products may be filled with chemicals and if ingested, can be severely dangerous to your pet.
Winter may be a dangerous time period for your pet but it does not have to be. As long as you keep your small friend warm, safe, and secure against the cold and pay close attention to their needs, you two should be free to frolic in the snow banks and enjoy each other’s company outdoors.