Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Winter Tips to Keep your Pet Healthy

Cold Weather Care

As the mercury drops and the winter chill settles in, we are offering some tips on keeping your companions comfortable through the winter months. Much of the advice for cold weather pet care is common sense - like making sure your companions have a warm, safe and dry place to rest if they are outdoors or a comfortable place away from drafts if they are indoors. However, it never hurts to review cold weather tips again since last winter was a long time ago - and who knows how much we've forgotten since the balmy days of summer tend to melt those chilly details from memory.

Fur Coat Care

Winter coat care is important for your furry friends. They depend on you to help keep their coat clean and mat-free so they can stay warm and comfortable. Even kitties that are fastidious about cleaning their own coat need to be brushed regularly and checked for matted fur. Clean fur fluffs and holds air - similar to layering clothes, which will help Rover or Whiskers stay warm. Matted fur pulls on the skin and can cause discomfort and irritate skin. If mats are left long enough, sores can develop and become infected. The Gripsoft Dematting Rake is a must for companions with long coats.As the heat kicks on in your home the air gets drier. Regular brushing helps encourage and distribute the natural oils in your companion's skin and coat. Essential fatty acids and daily multi-vitamins help nourish the skin and coat making it healthier and easier to care for. The fuller and longer your pet's coat, the more attention they will need during winter weather - especially after a walk or romp in the snow.Be sure to thoroughly wipe down your furry friend's paws, legs and underbelly after a walk in winter weather, particularly if you walk near roadways. This is also essential for cats with outdoor access. Slushy snow from sidewalks and roadways can contain a whole host of toxic chemicals including de-icers, salt, antifreeze, and heavy metals from vehicle exhaust. Your pet will ingest these if left to clean his own fur and paws - so be sure to remove the dirt before he does with some handy pet wipes. For an eco-friendly sidewalk de-icer, try Safe Paws - a must for all pet guardians to keep those toxic chemicals off your and your pet's feet and out of your home.If your friend’s own fur coat is not sufficient to keep her warm, get her a cozy sweater or jacket so she can still enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months. Walks are still a vitally important part of your companion’s daily routine for exercise and mental health. In rainy climates a light weight rain coat lets your companion enjoy their walks without getting soaked.

Paw Care

Like the built-in fur coat, your companion’s paws may need a bit of extra care during winter months. Dogs, especially, become susceptible to dry pads with frequent trips out onto the cold, wet ground and then back into the heated house. Some soothing paw balm is a great way to keep those pads supple and healthy. Trimming the fur between the toes makes keeping the paws clean and healthy a bit easier, as well as helping to prevent those pesky snow balls that can form between the toes. And for those walks in the snow or on cold sidewalks or icy roads, dog boots will keep your companion comfortable and safe from the de-icing salts and other chemicals.Good nail care is important, too. Long nails can strain tendons in the feet, and make a dog sensitive to walking on hard surfaces. They also lose traction as their nails get long because they walk more on the backs of their feet, and their toes spread more allowing more snow between the toes. Keep their nails trimmed on a regular basis with a good quality nail clipper. If your pooch doesn’t like having her nails trimmed, keep the sessions short and only do one paw at a time – or, for smaller dogs, try filing the nails frequently instead of trimming less often.


As winter settles in, you may need to adjust your companion’s food intake to meet his changing fuel needs. Dogs that spend as much time outside in the winter as they do in the summer need extra protein to help their bodies produce the extra energy it takes to keep warm. And for those “less adventurous” dogs and cats who spend a bit more time indoors napping by the fire, you may need to reduce their calorie intake to keep them from getting a bit round in the middle.

Stay tuned for the "rest of the story" in subsequent posts. Thanks to Only Natural Pet Store's knowledge base for this article.

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1 comment:

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