It’s that time of year again…
Time to scrap windshields and salt sidewalks and dig out all of the comfy sweaters and fuzzy socks in your wardrobe. Temperatures are dropping and winter is fast approaching! Whether preparing for Jack Frost to visit your town consists of bundling the kids up in winter coats, stocking up on hot cocoa, or double checking the heaters are working, if you have a pet there are some extra things to consider! We asked around and found some tips to aid those that have a pet for the first time this winter (some practical, some laughable) and some that all pet owners can relate to.
Here are some winter weather preparation tips to keep in mind, as your family braces themselves against the cold… and anticipates the holiday season!
- If your pet goes for walks outside, be conscious of sidewalk salt! Salt can be harmful to your pet’s paws (as can ice, if they’ve leaving a very warm house to walk on a very icy street). Walking shoes are available for pets for protection, but if you have questions about whether or not they’d be right for your pet, ask your vet!
- Speaking of walks, the sun isn’t going to hang around as much anymore. If you’re busy schedule keeps you from getting a walk during daylight hours, consider investing in an illuminating collar for your pet! They’re fun, and cars will see both of you coming well in advance.
- Winter weather can dry out your pet’s skin, and make them dehydrated. You might think summer is the time to worry about leaving enough water for your pet, but winter is just as important.
- Be prepared for your dog to bark at all of the Santas on the street.
- If you have a Christmas tree in your home during the holidays, be prepared for the ornaments on the bottom of the tree to be the sacrificial lambs.
- Even though they don’t always get to enjoy turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day, dogs mysteriously tend to gain more weight over the colder months. Weight gain can become problematic in older dogs, so be conscious of the extra scraps or treats that are given to your dog – if any!
- When family gathers around, be conscious of what food is on the table. You might know perfectly well your dog shouldn’t be eating those chicken wings, or that chocolate dessert, but a family member that doesn’t have a pet might just give in to those puppy dog eyes, and unknowingly give your pet a dangerous treat!
- If you buy your pets holiday gifts and leave them under the Christmas tree, or in the closet, take extra care if it’s something tasty. Pets have better noses than humans, and it wouldn’t be the first time a pet has cheated and gotten their Christmas present early.
- Snow will make not picking up after your pet on walks much less discreet. And finally…
- If you plan on welcoming a new friend into your home this Christmas, please discuss with your whole family to ensure everyone is on board! While a puppy in a box with a bow warms the heart in Lady and the Tramp, many pets are sadly returned to shelters after the holiday season, after being too much of a surprise.
All of us at Paws Abroad look forward to warming everyone this winter season with more stories on pet reunions and happy families!