-Check for ice in your yard before letting dogs run around. One good slip during playtime could dislocate a hip, or worse. When taking your dog for a walk, keep them leashed and away from slick areas. If you can’t avoid going over some ice, make sure they go slow and steady over it.
-Knock clumps of snow out of paws and belly fur to help your pet stay warm longer.
-Consider a sweater. You may think pet clothes are ridiculous, but some breeds of dogs and cats were absolutely not meant for the cold, much less snow, and don’t have the size/fur/body fat to deal with it. Keep them warm inside, and put a sweater that keeps their bare, at risk bellies warm before letting them out (hairless cats and Havanese dogs are some examples).
-Stocky, short legged pets are also at risk of getting too cold in the snow, and should have closely monitored, limited time outside.
-If you need to leave pets out—while you work, for instance—leave them shelter and warm water to drink. Straw is better for your outdoor pets than blankets because it provides better insulation and won’t freeze. If you don’t want to get a fancy heated water bowl, just leave warmer than average water.
-Watch for severe weather warnings. Regular news sources don’t always remember pets, so consider following/liking a local vet or shelter so you can see their warnings when the weather is too rough.
Signs it’s time to bring pets inside:
-Tiptoeing or limping means freezing feet. Most pets will naturally ask to come in, but if they don’t it’s time to intervene for their own sake.
-Shivering, hunching over, and bringing their tail in means it’s too cold for your dog.
-If there’s wind, monitor your pet. It may be too cold for them, but rather than ask to come in they might hide behind a tree or other shelter.
How are your pets taking the bad weather?