With the cold weather that we’ve been having lately, I’ve been worried about how to keep my pets safe in colder temperatures. Obviously, all outdoor animals come inside when the weather is freezing, but are there any other cold-weather pet hazards that we need to consider?
Chilly in Candlelight Estates
Houston has already experienced some rather unseasonably cold temperatures this year and there’s a good chance that winter is not quite done with us yet. While meteorologists remind us to protect our pipes, plants, and pets during freezes, there’s more to it than just putting a sweater on your dog when the temperatures dip below freezing. Here are a few other things to consider:
1. Watch Out for Outdoor Cats: If you have a cat–or even if you don’t and there may be strays around–before you start your car, be sure to bang the hood or honk your horn to scare off any cats who could be sleeping on top of wheels or in the engine to keep warm.
2. Walking on Thin Ice: While we in Houston don’t typically see frozen ponds or lakes, even just a thin layer on ice on the sidewalk can pose a danger to dogs. Thin ice is a real danger to dogs and puppies who might not realize where they’re stepping. When walking on frozen driveways and sidewalks, your dog could lose control on the slippery surface and tear a muscle or ligament.
3. Antifreeze: With colder weather comes the use of antifreeze in our cars. Even a little antifreeze could be fatal to your dog. It’s important to keep these containers locked away and mind any spills.
4. Arthritis Flares in Older Pets: If your dog is already experiencing symptoms of arthritis, these symptoms can become more apparent in cold weather. Help keep your dog as warm as possible (try heated bedding) and if your vet has prescribed medication, be sure to give it to your dog as instructed.
While we’re all looking forward to the warmer, sunny days that winter in Houston has become famous for, it’s still a good idea to remain mindful of ways that we can make our pets more comfortable in cold weather. With a little care and forethought, you and your pets can survive whatever weather this winter might throw at us.
Ready to Adopt?
Head to Bering’s Hardware on Bissonnet, Sunday, December 16 to meet the love(s) of your life at the Friends For Life Holiday Adoption event. There, you’ll be able to finish up your holiday shopping and possibly find a furry friend to bring home for Christmas. Santa will also be on hand for photos, so bring the family and make a fun day out of it–all for a good cause! To learn more, go to www.friends4life.org.
Pet of the Week
Meet Pansy. Pansy’s story is a sad (and, unfortunately common) story of a kitten who was adopted, then passed along from home to home, never properly cared for. Pansy became a mother at a young age and was lucky enough to finally be rescued with her babies and taken into foster care. Now, 1.5 year old Pansy is flourishing in foster care and is loving, outgoing, and purrs non stop–but she’s ready to find her forever family. To learn more go to www.saveacatrescue.org.