To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold. ~Aristotle.
I know this quote to be true, but my, it is bitter cold to stand outside right now for any length of time. However, when it snows you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels. What would you rather do? For now, I am happy to enjoy the beauty of this season from inside on these cold January days.
Now, if it is cold for us humans, it must be cold for our furry friends as well. You're probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets' health?
Here a few tips I have read from vet experts about your pets during these frigid temperatures.
Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It's a common belief that dogs and cats are more resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it's untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods in below-freezing weather.
If you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off the ground in order to minimize heat loss, and bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, cozy environment.
Recently, Global News reported that a driver with a loaner truck had popped the hood to add windshield washer fluid before returning the truck. He had quite a surprise when he discovered an orange tabby cat tucked in among the heater hoses staring right back at him!
The kitty was wedged in between the battery and the fire wall. The driver, who has the second driver of the loaner, immediately drove the truck to the shop for help. The little stowaway had traveled more than 80 kilometers between the homes of two drivers, all while wedged up in the engine! Once they finally managed to get him free, they posted the cat’s picture to Facebook and the owner was quickly found.
This story could have turned out much differently. This cat definitely has nine lives. So …
Make some noise! A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it's deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
When I am walking through the snow, my treads on my boots fill up with snow and ice. So …
Check the paws of your pet frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked or bleeding paw pads. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury, or because of ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog's toes.
As a final thought: let your furry pal be your “funshine” on these cold, blustery days. It will warm your heart, I promise!