The change in seasons can be just as difficult on Fido or Fluffy as it is on his human companions. Things change inside and outside of your home that affects your pet during the winter months. Between the steps you take to keep your home warm and the sun’s temperamental schedule, there are a lot of adjustments you need to make to keep your pet safe. Here are tips for keeping pets warm and safe in winter.
Illuminate the yard
Since the sun is setting earlier now, your pet’s outdoor playtime or bathroom visits might occur after dark. But between lawn rakes, a swimming pool, and other hazards, it’s important to keep the outdoor areas illuminated any time a pet may go outdoors. Either adjust your scheduled outdoor lights to turn on earlier, or activate motion sensor ones so a pet’s path is always illuminated. Motion sensor ones are also useful in scaring off predatory animals.
Schedule the thermostat
You want to make sure the house is warm and toasty when you get home from work, but what about your pet who is home all day? He also needs a warm place to hang out, but he may not need the thermostat quite as high as you do since he has fur and blankets to burrow in. Adjust the thermostat accordingly so Fido isn’t cold, but you still save energy.
Mind the doggy door
If you have a pet door, it may be time to block it once the winter months hit. You should control when your pet goes outside during severe weather. And you don’t want to risk the doggy door entrance freezing shut, with Fluffy stuck outdoors. So close this up for the winter.
Adjust walking schedules
Think about the best times to walk your dog now that the weather is changing. The super early morning may not be ideal. The ground could still be too frozen, posing a risk of frostbite on paws.
Don’t use antifreeze
Antifreeze, unfortunately, smells and tastes appetizing to pets, but is also highly toxic. Do not use it around your property. If you must use it, put up fences or other contraptions to ensure pets go nowhere near it.
Be mindful of space heaters
If you plan on warming your home with space heaters, keep in mind that these can be dangerous for pets. Animals naturally gravitate towards these and want to lie in front of them, but this can cause their coats to catch on fire. Place these high up, where pets can’t touch them.
Inspect old heated pet beds/houses
If your pet has a heated pet bed or house, inspect it each year. Make sure there aren’t any frayed wires, and that there aren’t overheating issues. These are luxurious items, but they can become dangerous quickly.
Keep pets away from fireplaces
If you plan on making a fireplace, be mindful of your pet’s whereabouts. Put a gate up that separates your pet from the room containing the fire. Make sure all guests and housemates know not to let the pet near the fire.
Switch to LED candles
If you like to use candles in the evening for a cozy environment, use LED ones rather than those with real flames. It’s too easy for a rowdy pet to knock a real candle over and cause a fire.
We can’t forget how the change of weather affects our furry friends. Take these precautions so your pets are comfortable and safe this winter.