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Cold Weather Tips for Pets

Dog in front of a fireplace

Now is the time to help all pets through the unusually cold weather that’s sweeping the country. Temperatures are hitting record lows over the next few days. Preparing your pet now will help!Current temps are cold, cold, cold — below freezing in many places, and even dropping to below zero levels in the hardest-hit areas of the upper Midwest and New England. Below, we’ve listed our best guide for preparing your pet through the harsh weather. Above all else, remember common sense: If it’s too cold for you to be outdoors, it’s probably too cold for your furry friend to be out there too. Read the tips below to help your pet, your neighbors’ pets, and any pets in your area through the cold!

Make Room for Your Pet

As humans are prone to frostbite and hypothermia so are pets. Ideally, you want to provide your dog or cat a designated area inside your home. If you don’t have room inside, create an insulated house outdoors. Make sure you fill the space with plenty of blankets. Since your pet will be burning through more energy to maintain his body heat, leave more food than you normally would if he were inside. Avoid leaving an electrical device, such as a heat lamp, inside your pet’s home, as it can burn your pet and cause a fire.

Have Your Pet Groomed

Once you have your pet’s home set up, take your dog or cat to a grooming salon. Getting your dog or cat groomed before winter begins is important to keeping your pet warm during the following months. If your pet has long hair, request the groomer to go easy on the cut. The longer your pet’s hair is, the warmer your pet. For pets with shorter hair, a cozy sweater can protect them. Before you dress your pet, have your pet’s hair trimmed to avoid matting of his hair.

Be Aware

There are several hazards present around your home you may not be aware of. From the antifreeze dripping from your car to melt ice, you want to do your best to keep your dog from consuming such toxins. You can prevent your dog from ingesting harmful chemicals by using an ethylene glycol-free antifreeze and rinsing your pet’s paws with warm water after a walk.

How do you help your dog or cat through cold weather? Tell us your best tips and stories below in the comments section.

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