dog in sweater.

As the chill of winter starts to creep in, we can feel it in the air. Just as we bundle up in scarves and jackets to keep warm, our furry friends need extra care to stay warm and safe during the colder months. Switzer Veterinary Clinic understands the importance of pet safety, and we’re here to offer tips on preparing your beloved companions for the winter wonderland that Michigan becomes.

Protecting Those Paws

When the temperatures drop, so does the pavement temperature. Those icy sidewalks and roads can be harsh on your pet’s paws. Consider investing in pet-friendly booties to shield their paws from the cold, salt, and ice. While it may seem funny at first, most pets get used to them quickly. If your pet isn’t a fan of booties, make sure to wipe their paws with a damp cloth after outdoor walks to remove any salt or chemicals that can irritate their skin.

Cozy Comfort

Just like you enjoy snuggling up under a warm blanket, your pets seek comfort too. Create a cozy haven for them by providing warm bedding and ensuring their sleeping area is away from drafty windows and doors. Consider a comfortable sweater or jacket for added warmth during outdoor walks. Even though they have fur, they can still feel the chill.

Nutrition Matters

As the temperature drops, pets may burn more calories to stay warm. Be mindful of their dietary needs and consider adjusting their portions to accommodate the extra energy they’re expending. Consulting with a veterinarian can help ensure your pet’s nutritional needs are met. Hydration is equally important during winter, so keep their water bowl fresh and accessible.

Limit Outdoor Time

While some pets adore playing in the snow, limiting their exposure to the cold is essential. Just like you, they can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia. Keep outdoor activities short and supervised, and always dry them off thoroughly when they come back indoors. It’s also a good idea to avoid letting them off-leash during snowstorms, as it’s easier for them to lose their way or get into dangerous situations in low visibility conditions.

Indoor Enrichment

If the weather is too harsh for outdoor activities, you can engage your pet’s mind and body with indoor games and enrichment. Hide treats around the house for them to discover, invest in puzzle toys that challenge their problem-solving skills, or engage in interactive play using toys that encourage movement. Not only does this keep them physically active, but it also prevents boredom during the colder months when outdoor time is limited.

Watch Out for Antifreeze

Antifreeze, often used in winter to protect vehicles, can be highly toxic to pets. Even a small amount can have devastating effects on their health. Ensure any spills are cleaned up immediately, and store antifreeze containers safely out of reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact us immediately.

Ready for a Warm and Safe Winter?

Winter can be a magical time, but it’s essential to take steps to make sure your pets are safe and comfortable. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a cozy and worry-free season. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s well-being, contact us at Switzer Veterinary Clinic.