As the temperatures drop, don’t forget that if it is too cold for you to be outside then it is too cold for your pets to be outside.Animals should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months to protect them from the harsh and bitterly cold elements. If your animals must stay outdoors, then they need to have proper shelter to protect them from the cold, according to the humane society of Greater Dayton.Here are 7 tips for protecting your pet from winter weather from the Humane Society:1. Avoid Cold WeatherKeep pets inside with the exception of periods of exercise. This will protect them from the winter elements. Consider dressing your pet in a sweater or coat for outdoor activities. This will help them retain their body heat and will also prevent their skin from drying out. When you bring them indoors wipe off their paws with a dry towel immediately, making sure to pay attention to between their toes.2. Provide ShelterIf your pets must be outdoors, provide them with well-equipped shelter. You want shelter that is dry, draft-free and large enough for your pet to turn around, sit and lie down comfortably.3. Keep Pets NourishedDid you know that in the winter months pets tend to use more energy to stay warm? Make sure to feed your pets a little more food during the winter and give them plenty of water. This will help them produce the energy they need to stay warmer and will keep them hydrated, which will help moisturize their skin. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.4. Bang Car HoodWarm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which may crawl up under the hood for warmth. To avoid injuring animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.5. Groom Your PetsAnimals with longer coats tend to have issues with salt crystals, snow balls or even de-icing chemicals clinging to their fur, which can dry your pet’s skin out. Keep fur trimmed to stop some of this from collecting on your pet. Don’t forget to also clip the hair between their paws. By also brushing your pet frequently, you can stimulate blood circulation, which improves your pet’s overall skin condition. You do however want to also limit the number of baths you give your pets during the winter months. Washing too often can remove the essential oils your pets need to keep their skin healthy. Your vet can recommend a good moisturizing shampoo or rinse for you to use on your pets to help their skin.6. Avoid Salt and ChemicalsKeep paws free of salt and other winter chemicals. The salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Whenever your pets go outdoors, you need to also protect their paws as much as possible. Booties can help lower your pet’s exposure to painful salt crystals and other ice-melting elements. If booties aren’t an option, try rubbing petroleum jelly into the pads of your pet’s paws before you go out. This will protect your pet from salts and other chemicals. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his or her mouth, too.7. Keep Antifreeze Out of ReachAntifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze where it cannot be accessed by pets.
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