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Warming Hearts and Paws: What To Do As a Volunteer For Winter Pet Care

The winter is difficult for all of us, including our furry friends. As the temperature in the United States has struck a historical low, we must keep in mind that our pets should be kept safe and warm during this cold season. The winter pet care and safety for dogs and cats when it comes to below-freezing temperatures will impose great changes to your furry friend’s daily routine. 

Here is a list of important tips you need to keep in mind to warm your pets and give them the extra winter pet care they deserve.

Tip #1: Bring Your Pets Inside

It is best to keep all kinds of pets inside when it’s cold out. When the temperatures drop below 30 degrees F. Most likely, it will be too cold for you outside and it will be the same thing for your pets. 

If you are planning to go for a walk outside with your dog, it would be best to find indoor activities that you both enjoy to pass the time and that will certainly give them the right exercise to combat unhealthy wintertime weight gain.

Tip #2: Protect Their Paws from Frostbite

Your pets need extra attention when the cold temperature decreases. Their paws are sensitive and should be protected from the freeze because it is the part of your pet’s body that doesn’t have fur to protect them from cold. 

Be careful of salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice which can irritate your pet’s paws. It is suggested to wipe their paws with a dry towel before they can lick it and irritate their mouth. Moreover, it would be helpful to use petroleum jelly or booties to shield sensitive paws.

Tip #3: Check your engine

One of the most important things to consider when you are traveling with your pet is if your vehicle is warm enough. A warm vehicle can be a great heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it can also be harmful.

Before starting your car, take a moment to check underneath and around the vehicle to make sure no cats are seeking shelter. This simple action could save a life.

Tip #4: Be Cautious with Salt and Ice Melts

Winter brings dangers for pets beyond just cold weather and slippery surfaces. Common salt and ice melt chemicals can cause salt poisoning or chemical burns to your pet’s paws. While pet-safe ice melts are available, your furry friend may still encounter harmful chemicals on sidewalks and streets. 

When returning home, wipe your pet’s paws with a towel or use a paw washer to remove any ice-melt residue. Ice melt can dry out and irritate their paws, and they may become sick if they lick them. For extra protection, consider using specially designed booties for dogs (if they’ll tolerate wearing them).

Tip #5: Keep Their Fur and Skin Healthy

Just like us, our furry friends can get dry skin in the winter, especially when they spend more time indoors. But keeping their skin healthy is quite simple. While bathing isn’t necessary often, using a gentle oatmeal shampoo can help soothe itchiness. You can also apply coconut oil to their coat or give them a vet-recommended fatty acid supplement. For the easiest solution, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home (your skin will appreciate it too!)

If they have itchy skin, it is best to keep your home humid so that your pet will dry off immediately after coming inside.  You also need to pay attention to their paws and in between their toes, you may see some snow from their footpads, remove them immediately after coming inside. 

For pets who are short-haired, consider a sweater or a coat to keep them warm. You can minimize bathing time during cold weather to prevent dry skin. Furthermore, a moisturizing shampoo helps.

Tip #6: Know the Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia, and low body temperature, can affect both cats and dogs in cold weather. Learn the signs of hypothermia and how to treat it promptly during cold spells. Mild hypothermia can be treated at home with warm blankets and warm (not hot!) drinks like chicken broth. 

However, severe hypothermia can cause pets to collapse and even lead to death. A sweater or windbreaker can help your dog stay warm during outdoor potty breaks, but keep outdoor time brief, especially for puppies, small breeds, and older pets for the best winter pet care.

Tip #7: Prevent Dehydration in Cold Weather

Despite the cooler temperatures, pets can still become dehydrated in the winter. Always bring water on walks and ensure your pet has access to fresh water at home and outside (and check that their water bowl doesn’t freeze!). 

To check dehydration, gently pinch the loose skin on your pet’s back. If it bounces back quickly, your pet is hydrated. If not, give them water immediately. You can also check their gums for a healthy pink color.

Ready To Enjoy The Winter Weather With Your Pet?

As the winter season approaches, it’s important to remember that our furry friends need extra winter pet care to stay warm and comfortable. Doobert Store is committed to providing you with everything you need to keep your pets safe and happy throughout the cold months. 

With every purchase, you can also help animals in need by donating 5% of your order to animal shelters and rescue organizations. Shop now at Doobert Store and get everything you need to make this winter a comfortable one for your beloved companions.

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