As the song, Let is Snow, says, “Oh the weather outside is frightful. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” This is fine, so long as your pet is not out there suffering from any frigid weather conditions.
This might not be the case in San Francisco or Daly City areas, where we have milder weather conditions. However, as a pet owner, it’s important to remember the many important winter tips to keep your pet safe and warm, as in, exposing your pet’s skin on their nose, ears, and paw pads can make them highly susceptible to frostbite and/or hypothermia during cold weather spells. Another tip for pet owners is to remember that rock salt and other chemicals, used to melt snow, are also dangerous for your pet’s paws and could be deadly if ingested.
In addition to your pet’s daily food, water intake, your pet’s body temperature must remain stable. The number one tip you, as a pet owner, must remember is: if it’s too cold outside for you, then it’s too cold outside for your pet.
Other tips to keeping your pet warm during these cold winter months include:
Feed your pet more – during the winter months, make sure your pet gets enough food and water. Staying warms takes extra energy. And extra calories are needed to create the energy needed for your pet to maintain his or her correct body temperature.
Dry your pet off each time your pet re-enters the home – this removes not only the snow or ice that prolongs the cold, but also removes any dangerous salt and chemicals. Applying petroleum jelly on your pet’s paws, before your pet goes outside, can protect him or her from any damaging effects. And remember, anti-freeze is sweet to the taste, so it can be very enticing to an animal.
Bathe your pet less – too much bathing can remove oils that are essential to keeping your pet’s skin moist. When bathing your pet, use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. Even keeping your home humidified can help eliminate dry skin. Cold temperatures can dry out your pet’s skin as can the heater that keeps your pet warm.
Do not shave your long-haired pet during the winter months – your pet’s long hair can work as an insulator to keep your pet warm.
Short-haired pets should be covered in a sweater – the sweater should cover your pet’s entire torso and not be too tight or too loose, too thick or too thin.
Never leave your pet in the car – just as it is too hot in the summer to leave your pet in the car, it is also too cold in the winter. Left in the car too long, your pet could freeze.
Create a warm place for your pet to sleep – make sure your pet’s sleeping area is draft-free. The sleeping area should also be the right size, so your pet can retain their natural body heat.
In the San Francisco/Daly City area, let’s help all pets enjoy the winter months by following these simple tips. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet, 24/7, we are always ready to help. Call NorCal Vet at (415) 413-7363.