by Anna Ervin
You can never truly know what to expect from an Oklahoma winter, but this year the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a particularly temperamental season featuring a whole lot of snow and cold weather.
My dog, Lucy, has a ridiculous amount of energy and there’s absolutely no way we’d survive a winter stuck in the house without walks or a game of fetch. I don’t mind though, watching her try to dig a tennis ball out of a pile of snow is honestly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
However, all of our favorite winter activities require a little extra maintenance on my part to make sure Lucy stays safe and cozy all season. Keep your pets safe this winter by maintaining awareness of these 5 winter hazards:
Monitor outdoor time closely
Never leave your pets outside overnight. Don’t let even the thickest coat deceive you, most pets don’t have that much more of a tolerance to the cold than humans. If you have a short-haired dog, they might appreciate a warm sweater or vest for the coldest days of the year.
Protect their paws
I’ve been using Musher’s Secret for years but you can also make your own right at home! Check out the video tutorial below. Be sure to wipe it off after outdoor time to help keep your house clean and prevent your dog from licking up anything that might have stuck to the wax. It can be a bit more challenging to tend to your feline friends paws but if you can, try to apply olive or coconut oil to their paws every few days or when you notice the pads feel dry.
Beware of toxic ice melting salts
You can buy safer alternatives like this one for your own personal use, but if you and your pet are out and about often, make a habit of wiping their paws when you get home. Store ice melting products as well as antifreeze out of reach at all times.
Find new ways to stay active indoors
My dog has both indoor and outdoor toys, so on those days when its just too cold to spend time outside, I try to make sure she gets plenty of indoor activity. According to PetMD, dog’s may be prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder, similar to humans. Increasing the amount of light in your home, as well as incorporating interactive activities, such as tricks, could be helpful in preventing the winter blues for both you and your furry friend!
Keep a close eye on space heaters and fireplaces
For obvious reasons, un-monitored space heaters and fireplaces can quickly create a hazardous situation. Place a baby gate around the fireplace or set your space heater on a table out of reach.