(WIBW) -- With a cold snap bringing the coldest temperatures of the season, many of us will be pulling out our winter coats. And, while our four-legged friends may come with their own fur coats, they are still vulnerable to frostbite and exposure.
According to the ASPCA, the winter winds’ cold, dry air and chilly rain and snow can chap our pets’ paws and dry out their skin. But, that’s not the only problems they face. The chemicals used to melt ice can be “downright dangerous” when they lick their paws to clean them.
The agency offered several tips to help keep our pets safe as the mercury drops:
- To keep their skin from becoming to dry and itchy, keep your home humidified and towel dry them as soon as they come inside;
- Your dog’s fur obviously provides more warmth, so don’t shave them down to the skin. If you have a long-haired dog, a simple trim will get rid of those ice balls, salt crystals, and de-icing chemicals;
- Bring a towel on long walks and clean off their feet as they become irritated and start to sting. A little petroleum (or some booties) before the walk can provide a little protection for their little paws. Then, when you get home, wash and dry their paws and stomach;
- This is probably many dogs’ favorite tip. Don’t give them baths too often. Washing can remove the essential oils that keep their skin moist. So, wash them as little as possible. And, if you do, use a moisturizing shampoo or rinse;
- Whoops! THIS is probably their favorite tip. Feed them a little more. You enjoy a few more calories and comfort foods to keep warm, your pet will love it too. And, don’t forget to keep enough water in their bowl;
- Make sure they have a warm place to sleep;
- Don’t leave your pets alone in the car. While we often hear about how quickly cars heat up during summer months, they can turn into refrigerators in the winter.
Finally, the ASPCA reminds pet owners if it’s too cold for them, it’s probably too cold for their pets. So, they recommend keeping them inside. If they are left outside, the pets could freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured, or killed.