7 Winter Pet Care Tips for Outdoor Dogs and Other Animals
Posted on December 23, 2023 by Pinnacle Vet Clinic
As winter rolls around, it’s important to consider how to care for your outdoor pets properly. While some pets can handle the colder temperatures, others may need extra help to stay warm and healthy. Here are some recommendations on how to keep outdoor pets warm in winter, how to keep pet water from freezing, and other winter pet care tips.
How to Keep Outdoor Dogs and Other Pets Warm in Winter
1. Provide Proper Shelter
The first and most important thing to do for outdoor pets in winter is to provide them with proper shelter. You’ll need to make sure that the shelter is big enough for your pet to move around in, but not too big that it loses heat. The shelter should be raised off the ground to keep moisture out, and have a door or flap to keep the wind and snow out. You can also add insulation to the shelter to keep your pet warm.
2. Use Straw for Bedding
Straw is an excellent bedding material for outdoor pets in winter. It’s warm, insulating, and doesn’t retain moisture. You can line the shelter with straw in addition to putting some on top of the shelter for added insulation.
3. Provide Warm Bedding
In addition to straw, you can also provide your pet with warm bedding, such as a blanket or a heated pet bed. These will help your pet stay warm and comfortable during the colder months.
4. How to Keep Pet Water from Freezing
One of the biggest challenges of caring for outdoor pets in winter is keeping their water from freezing. You can use a heated water bowl or a heated pet waterer to ensure that your pet always has access to fresh, unfrozen water. You can also try adding a little bit of sugar to the water, which can help prevent it from freezing.
5. Provide Extra Food
Pets need extra calories to keep warm in the winter, so provide your outdoor pets with extra food during the colder months. Under the recommendation of your vet, you can also add a little bit of fat to their diet, such as a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
6. Protect Against Frostbite
Frostbite is a serious concern for outdoor pets in winter, especially for those with exposed skin, such as their ears, nose, and paws. You can protect your pet from frostbite by providing them with a warm shelter, and by applying a pet-safe moisturizer to their paws and nose.
7. Watch for Signs of Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition that can occur when a pet’s body temperature drops too low. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, lethargy, and weakness. If you notice any of these signs, bring your pet inside and warm them up immediately.
By following these tips, you can help keep your outdoor pets safe, healthy, and warm during the colder months. Remember, outdoor pets need extra care and attention during the winter, so make sure to check on them frequently and provide them with everything they need to stay comfortable.