Winterizing your pet by Cara Meglio
Winter is coming! As the days grow shorter, we have plenty of preparations underway for the cold months ahead. You may be thinking of swapping out car tires, insulating windows and pulling your winter wardrobe out of storage. But have you though about winterizing your pet? Here’s how you do it in four simple steps.
1. Decreasing Arthritis
If your pet suffers from sore joints, amp up the anti-inflammatories to counteract cool weather’s effects. Frigid temps will exacerbate the symptoms of arthritis, but adding supplements like fish oils and glucosamine to your pet’s diet can help to stave off the worst. While not appropriate for cats, dogs may also benefit from easting more berries and leafy greens. Talk to your vet about adding a dietary supplement to help ease your buddy’s aches and pains.
Additionally, plan ahead to make sure your pet always has a warm and cozy place to rest, and if symptoms still seem to flare up, look into alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture and physical therapy.
2. Skin Deep
Many pets suffer from sensitive skin in the colder month of the year. Frequently alternating between the cold air outside and the dry heat indoors can lead to itchy and irrupted skin. Look out for your buddy’s comfort by using a humidifier in your home and drying off his fur when he comes inside. Cutting down on his bathing routine and adding omega-3s to his diet van help promote the skin’s natural resiliency. When you do need to bathe your pet, opt for a moisturizing shampoo - and if his skin has already become irritated despite your preventive effort, use a medicated product or oatmeal bath.
HOW COLD IS TOO COLD?
WHEN TEMPERATURES TANK, WINTER GEAR IS CRUCIAL. Break out your pup’s jacket at 40 F and bolo Under 15 F is potentially life threatening. Pups with a heavy coat, those acclimated to cold and Northern breeds fare better, but wet weather significantly increases the danger for all dogs, even at comfortable temperatures.
3. Dietary Dilemmas
While it’s natural to overindulge a little around the holidays and pack on a few winter pounds, it’s not healthy for us or our four-legged friends. Bear in mind that your pets aren’t probably getting as much exercise during the colder month, and consider adjusting their food intake accordingly.Try to keep your pet away from the season’s more tempting treats, too. Not one do we tend to eat more in the winter, but our diets get worse - full go fatty, rich foods that we love to share with family during out holiday meals. While these winter comfort foods are undoubtedly delicious, they can spell gastrointestinal disaster for our 🐶.
4. Play Footsies
While some pets jump at the chance to frolic in the snow, others prefer to keep their sensitive feet far away from the freezing ground. Regardless of which category yours falls into, it’s a good idea to take some paw protective measures. Extreme cold can cause more than just discomfort, and de-icing salts tend to irritate the skin. Footsies are perfect for keeping paws clean and warm (with the added benefit of being adorable), but if your pup isn’t a fan, consider massaging petroleum jelly or another protective product onto the paw pads. Check for clumps of ice and road salts between your pet’s toes after he returns from the winter wonderland.