Pets are an important part of human lives and human society at large. The concept of keeping pets is so widely accepted that a household without one is not regarded as being complete. Popular pets readily and usually kept by people include cats, dogs, and hamsters which continually top the pet list. Several factors influence the keeping of pets ranging from the geographical location, breed of pets to the weather condition of a certain place. It is one thing to have pets and another to keep them alive in good health and perfect health conditions. This and many other reasons strengthen the conclusion that keeping pets is not a child’s play or a matter to be handled lightly.
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Weather conditions also play a role in the health and well-being of pets, quite similar to the way weather affects humans. Spring and autumn can be particularly interesting seasons for pets, especially dogs and cats who are natural lovers of the outdoors. Summer is also a great time to create beautiful memories with your pets as the weather always seems perfect. Though these seasons and weather conditions come with their challenges, none is as brutal as winter and the cold it brings. Winter is a season characterized by an acute level of cold and a frighteningly low temperature. Surviving during winter is always a hard challenge for both pets and their owners, owing to the constant snow during this season. It is not shocking to realize that most animals, especially those in the wild, do not make it alive after the winter. If nothing kills them, the exposure to extreme cold is enough to stop their beating hearts. Therefore, you must take precautions and be super observant of your pets during this season if their health means something to you.
Winter tips for pets
This season comes with a lot of challenges for pets healthwise which greatly determines the survival of these animals. There are, however, a few tips to help you raise and keep your pets safe and healthy all through this cold season:
Always keep pets sheltered
This is a necessary tip that can help you avoid the many risks that come with winter. It is very advisable to keep your pets and your family within the house during winter. Staying indoors and staying together can increase the temperature within the house as body heat can be circulated. This, too, can help pets, especially the ones that like to snuggle into human laps or hands. Pet like cats should under no circumstances be left in the open during winter as it is very detrimental to their health. Their coats alone are not equipped to keep the extreme cold away, and in this season, they produce less body heat. It is common knowledge that dogs prefer outdoor walks and strolls to staying indoors, but during this season, staying indoors must be strictly enforced.
If for any reason your dogs should be out, a dry shelter comfortable enough for them to stroll and still retain body heat should be provided. It is also important to feed your pets more food than usual when they spend time outdoors during winter, as staying warm reduces energy levels in animals.
Protect your pet’s paws and delicate skin areas
Winter as a season poses the highest level of threat to pets, whether cats or dogs. This is because the extreme cold of this season can find its way into your pet’s body through their paws and other parts of the body not covered by their fur. It is also necessary to use paw pads as a means of protection against cold surfaces and chilly areas of land. Paw pads, too, are helpful in the case that they protect your pets from rock salts which are dangerous when ingested. It, however, robs your pets of the satisfaction they earn from licking their paws.
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Clean spills and remove all forms of poisons
During the winter season, extra methods and strategies are carried out to ensure the maintenance of good health in people. These methods can be somewhat dangerous to pets if not handled correctly. One such strategy includes the use of antifreeze, which tends to attract animals and children with its smell but is toxic to the former. To this end, you should always clean up antifreeze spills anywhere around your home to avoid any incidence of ingestion by your pets. Other household chemicals should be kept as far away from pets as possible, seeing that they would likely spend most of their time indoors during winter.
Keep their leash on
This is very important, especially when your pet has to go outdoors for a short or long walk. Whichever it may be, it is necessary to keep them leashed so you can guide them and essentially be with them. This is because the wind and chills peculiar to the winter season make it hard for animals to recognize familiar smells and scents. This might pose a threat to your pet finding its way home alone as it depends mainly on its sense of smell. There is also less visibility during winter, further increasing the risk of your pet getting lost, which would indeed be bad. So to avoid such unpleasing situations, it is wise to keep their leash on while in the open and to make sure you hold on to it tightly.
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Keep pets active
The fact that your pets spend time indoors shouldn’t make them become lazy animals. Keeping them active, busy, up and running helps them produce and maintain body heat. Try playing games within the house or garage or any confined area with a little space. This goes a long way in keeping pets warm and maintaining average body temperature.
Winter can be a trying time for pets and their owners, but with joint participation and discipline, they can both survive safely and in good health.