It’s the time of year where the weather can change as rapidly as a teenager’s mood.
Last week, I left for work at 46 degrees and came home to 74 degrees. Yesterday, it started out in the high 60s and plunged into the high 30s by day’s end.
Just as you would send your children off to school ready for any weather, your pet needs to be treated with the same consideration, especially if they’ll be outside during the day.
Obviously, you don’t want to leave them outside for extended periods in freezing weather or precipitation during cold weather months. If you’re at work all day, consider crate training your pet inside, or hiring a pet sitter to come by and let him out during the day.
Don’t worry about cutting your pet’s hair during winter months. Like yours, it gets a little thicker to keep him warm in cold weather. If he’s naturally short-haired or a smaller dog, a coat or sweater might be appropriate for those really cold days.
When your pets come in from outside, especially if it’s snowing or raining, towel them off and pay special attention to their feet, which were coming in contact with the cold ground.
You also want to wash any chemicals from road de-icing off your pet as quickly as possible, so they don’t irritate their skin, or worse – lick it off.
Putting a thick layer of petroleum jelly on the bottom of their paws, on the pads of their feet, can help protect them when they go outside in cold weather.
Bottom line: If you are cold, your pet is cold, so keep him in with you when he’s not using the bathroom outside.