An early preview of winter with record breaking temperatures had many in central Illinois breaking out the heavy winter jackets,but as easy as it is for humans to remember how to dress appropriately for the weather we have to also remember how the winter affects our furry friends.
There are several things that can be done to keep pets warm during the cold weather. Veterinarian Bret Peterson said it starts with keeping an eye on the forecast.
“Number one is obviously temperature, it’s cold outside if it’s cold for you it’s cold for your pets too, so make sure you minimize their exposure to outside. Ice melt, sidewalk salt can be very caustic to their pads and to their feet, even the pet safe ones can be abrasive to their feet, so we always recommend once you come inside make sure you clean your pets feet, dry them real thoroughly,” said Peterson.
If your pet travels with you, here’s another tip to keep in mind.
“Car safety is another one, don’t keep your pet in a car without the engine running without the heat going it gets real cold real fast,” said Peterson.
For those with outdoor pets the two main concerns are shelter and fresh water.
“Make sure that they have shelter so that they can get out of the wind and the rain or the snow so covered shelter that can keep them warm. The other thing is to make sure they have access to fresh water, water bowls will freeze over very quickly and if it turns to ice then they can’t drink it and they will dehydrate even in cold weather, so either make sure you’re checking the water frequently, make sure it’s not frozen over or you can also get heated water bowls,” explained Peterson.
While it’s important to keep your own pet safe it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on other animals, too. The end goal is for the whole family pets included to make it through winter safely.