Keeping Our Pets Safe
Keeping Our Pets Safe
Although I live in Florida, it still gets cold here on my small farm in the winter. In fact, just recently the overnight temperature was forecast to fall to 35 degrees and I made sure that all my outside animals were safe and warm and my dog, Otto, and his feline playmates were just as comfortable inside the house. This experience reminded me of how hard the winter cold can be on our companion animals. It can even be deadly at times. And while I am sure that most of you do not live with two horses, a goat, a cow, a dog and two cats, protecting your companion animals from the hazards of the cold weather is quick and easy.
First and foremost, the majority of our companion animals live indoors and they are accustomed to a warm environment. So please keep in mind that indoor pets cannot adjust to the harsh cold just because they are animals. Remember, if it is too cold for you outside then it is too cold for your pet. If your pet is accustomed to being outside during the day, make sure he or she is properly protected. For dogs, a dry dog house with a raised floor and some thick bedding made of straw or blankets will help keep them as comfortable and safe as possible. Check the water bowl to make sure it’s not frozen. Animals should not stay outside for an unlimited amount of time if it is very cold. Young, old and sick animals are particularly vulnerable to the cold and should not be exposed to freezing temperatures for any length of time. Please make sure you consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about this. In the meantime, here are some simple guidelines.
Fireplaces and space heaters are great to warm up a room, but they also can spell trouble for companion animals. Most pets will try to get close to a heat source and may accidentally get burned or even tip a space heater over. So keep an eye on your dog or cat so everyone stays safe and cozy.
Pet beds are great places in which to snuggle and keep warm during the winter months. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and price ranges. Cats love the winter sun, so why not clear a spot near a window for your cat to bask tranquilly during the day.
Indoor heat and humidity changes can raise havoc with your companion animal’s skin and coat, so take a little extra time now and then to brush your furry friend.