Pet winter safety is important to all pets, big and small

Old Man Winter has arrived here in New Jersey, and we can expect a full season of inclement if not unpredictable weather. Just as you might have unearthed all of your winter gear, winterized your car, and battened down the hatches for impending wet weather, it’s equally important to consider cold weather pet safety.

Cold weather pet safety has a lot more to it than meets the eye. Check out some of our tips and tricks for keeping your pet healthy and oh-so-cozy during the harsh winter months.

Get the Gear!

Maybe all of the hats, boots, coats, sweaters, and other options in pet clothing gear may seem like overkill on days when it isn’t that bad. Depending on your pet, though, these items can not only make it possible for your pet to get out and remain active but also stay warm and dry.

Some possible items on your pet’s list of needs may include:

  • Warm, water-resistant coat
  • Rain coat
  • Scarf
  • Boots
  • Snowsuit
  • Sweaters
  • Extra blankets (especially for car trips)
  • Self-warming pad
  • Mushers Secret paw balm or other paw protection formulated for pets

While it may seem like a lot, with the many phases of winter weather, it’s likely you will need each of these items at some point during the cold season.

Keep Them Healthy

Winter weather can create some problems for your pet’s skin, coat, and paw health. Forced air heating, deicing chemicals, and wet, icy weather can cause dryness and other problems to watch out for.

Some pets are better adapted to snowy, wet weather because they have thick undercoats that help to whisk away moisture. Still, it’s always a good idea to protect their paws with booties and outfit them with coats when temperatures dip below the 40s.

Towel dry your pet any time you go outdoors, and wipe paws and feet with a warm washcloth to remove any sidewalk and street chemicals, which are often toxic to pets. Pay close attention to your furry pal when outside, and bring them in when you suspect they are uncomfortable. On cold or rainy days, you may just want to opt for a fun indoor game of tug-of-war or laser chase to get those exercise needs in.

Cold Weather Pet Safety for All

Chilly weather is an important concern for senior pets and those with compromised health. The drop in temperature can enhance discomfort when precautions are not taken. Arthritic or ill pets will likely need additional help in staying warm, as well as traversing any snow, ice, or other slippery surfaces.

Be particularly mindful about their comfort when outside, and move their bed to a draft-free area of the home for a good, cozy night’s rest.

And don’t forget kitties! During inclement or cold weather, bring your best feline indoors to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here to address all of your cold weather pet safety concerns. Please call us with any additional questions, and be sure to keep your fur friend warm, safe, and healthy this brisk season.