Protect Your Pets From Extreme PNW Weather
In an event that some have labeled ‘Snowmageddon’, the greater Seattle-Tacoma area has experienced record snowfall for the month of February.
Local news reports have featured folks queuing up at the hardware store for de-icer and snow shovels (because who owns one in the Puget Sound area anyways??), kids suiting up to take advantage of the rare opportunity to build a snowman, massive power outages, countless flight cancellations, and yes, beloved pets venturing out into the once-in-a-lifetime weather conditions.
Pet owners across the PNW are wondering exactly how to keep their pets warm and safe in the midst of all of this extreme weather. It’s hard enough to keep ourselves warm, let alone our pets!
Not to worry:
Pet Ponderosa is here with professional pet care tips on how to keep your furry friend cozy despite frigid winter temperatures.
Bundle Up Your Pup
10 Step Survival Guide to Keeping Pets Warm
- Stay Hydrated – As always, pets need access to a regular supply of fresh water. Still, this can be easier said than done in freezing temperatures. Doggy dishes (especially metal dishes) full of water become giant ice cubes when winter temperatures hit. Be sure to either bring your pet’s water bowl inside or invest in a heated pet water bowls to ensure his water supply will never freeze up and leave him thirsty.
- Eat Well – Even though it may not seem that your pet is expending a lot of energy in lethargic, cold temps, staying warm in itself does take a surprising amount of energy! To ensure your pet has the calories it needs to stay cozy, consider increasing their food intake and/or bumping up the quality of their food.
- Sleep Snuggly – Whether your pets sleep indoors or outdoors, be sure to provide appropriate shelter and accommodations. Heated kennels and warming pads may be a good solution, especially if your pet’s shelter is outdoors. It is important to make sure your puppy or kitty’s sleeping area remains dry. Even if your pet sleeps indoors, it may be wise to provide them multiple sleeping locations. Cats and dogs are typically good at adjusting where they snooze according to their temperature and comfort level. If pets are too cold, they will typically lay near heat sources such as wood stoves. If they are too hot, they will find a cooler surface to lay on, such as tile. It is always a good idea to provide pets with their own bed in a comfortable, warm location.
- Car Safety – Be very careful NOT to leave pets alone in the car unattended. Just as pets can get heat stroke in a hot summer car, they can freeze in a cold winter car. When you warm up your car before you head for work in the morning, check to make sure that your cat (or any neighbor cats) has not sought refuge in the warm engine. It’s a good idea to look under the car and under the hood as well. Try making a little bit of noise (perhaps a horn honk or bang the hood a little, if it won’t disturb the neighbors) to warn any hiding animals that they need to flee the scene before you vroom off.
- Stay Furry – Fresh, new haircuts on your pup may look great, but it could take away their main source of winter warmth. Try to keep coat clipping to a minimum when it’s freezing outside. Your doggy’s fur will help him stay naturally insulated. Don’t worry, once springtime comes you can bring your pup here to the Pet Ponderosa Spa and we’ll give him a perfect pet haircut.
- Walk Smart – If you must venture outside for a stretch of the legs on these bitter cold days, it’s best to keep your pup on the leash. Dogs can lose their sense of direction more easily in the snow since it is harder for them to follow a scent trail. Help your dog stay safe and keep him from getting lost by being sure to use a leash. To ensure your pet doesn’t get too cold, keep walking to a minimum and avoid ice!
- Stay Indoors – Like you, your pets need regular exercise. Still, if possible, indoor exercise is the safest option when facing extreme weather conditions. Despite being animals with furry coats, dogs and cats can also get hypothermia and sickness from the cold. Keep pets warm indoors!
- Prevent Poisoning – Typically, we use more antifreeze in the winter. Unfortunately, dogs (and kids!) are attracted to its sweet taste. Antifreeze is poisonous and incredibly dangerous if ingested. Be sure to clean up any antifreeze spills to ensure the safety of your pets and children.
- Bundle Up – Humans are not the only ones who should layer up for winter weather. When venturing outdoors, pets can benefit from wearing cozy sweaters to protect their core. Be sure that your pet’s garments are not too tight fitting. You should be able to easily slide two fingers underneath his/her sweater. Pet booties can also help your pup’s feet stay warm while keeping ice from accumulating on his paws and preventing de-icing salt from getting wedged between his paw pads.
- Consult Your Vet – Pets with special health conditions such as arthritis should get a checkup to get tips from the vet on how to prepare them for enduring the cold weather. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation advises “Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.”
Don’t forget to watch this helpful video from The Humane Society with more pro tips on how to keep your pets safe in cold weather.
Warm and Cozy Pet Accommodations
Planning to escape to the tropics but can’t take your furry friend along? Not to worry! Here at Pet Ponderosa Resort & Spa, we are outfitted with top quality, climate control kennels. Even in freezing, unpredictable PNW weather, your dog or cat will stay safe and warm in our temperature regulated kennels. Book your pup’s pet-cation today!
Have other pet survival tips we missed? Be sure to share them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!