Keeping Your Pets Healthy This Winter

Winter weather is more than unpleasant for furry family members; it also poses serious threats to their health. Read on for ways to make sure that your pets stay happy and healthy all winter long.

Bring pets indoors. An animal’s health is always threatened when living outdoors, but the frigid temperatures of winter can lead to illness, frostbite or even death. If this isn’t possible, provide outdoor pets with a sturdy water-proof shelter and access to food and fresh water at all times.

Don’t cut your pet’s fur too short during cold weather. Keep in mind that an animal’s coat is meant for more than adornment and can’t keep him warm if it’s cut extremely close to the skin.

Keep your dog secure by always using a leash when taking him for a walk. Dogs that go for solo runs during warm weather may have no trouble finding their way back home, but snow and ice make it more difficult for him to follow the scent trail. Also, make sure that the information on all of your pet’s id tags is up to date.

Invest in a doggy sweater for short-haired breeds, even if you’ve vowed not to become one of those pet owners who dress their dog up in cute outfits. A sweater really will help keep your dog healthy when he goes outdoors to do his business.

Wipe your pet off after coming in from the cold. This not only removes moisture, but also gets rid of hazards that could be clinging to the paws or fur, such as anti-freeze or de-icing fluid.

Never leave your pet in the car during winter weather. You may intend to be gone for five minutes, but you can’t guarantee that something unexpected won’t happen to prevent you from returning to your pet quickly.

Keep your pets moving. Take advantage of good weather by getting your dog outdoors. Spend time playing with your cat or, if she’s not the playing type, provide a cat tree or condo. This is especially beneficial for older pets who may suffer from arthritis.

Purchase pet insurance. Just as with human insurance, these policies protect your pet by covering the cost of exams, medications and many procedures. It’s an invaluable asset should unexpected health problems arise. Compare pet insurance prices online before buying to make sure you get the best deal and a policy that meets your pet’s needs.

Winter can be hard on your pet, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these precautions and your pets will survive winter unscathed and be ready for fun when warm spring weather finally arrives.

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