Winter has arrived for most of us. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we even have snow! Winter is a great time for snuggling with your pets by the fire, playing catch with snowballs and taking long walks down snowy lanes.
If you take your dog on walks in snow and ice, it’s a good idea to wipe their paws off with a towel before they come in. Not only with this help keep your floors clean, it will remove any ice chunks from their toes. It also will help remove any rock salt they might have picked up on their paws during their walk. Rock salt is used on snow and ice to help keep us from slipping, but it can be irritating to sensitive paws. If you have cats that go outdoors, their paws should be checked regularly too.
Another winter hazard is antifreeze, which has a sweet smell and taste and is poisonous to your pets. Try to keep your pets out of driveways and roadways where antifreeze can collect. If your pet shows any signs of poisoning (clumsiness, drunken behavior, vomiting, wobbling) call your vet immediately.
This time of year, your pet may need some additional calories. Animals who spend time outdoors need extra calories to help keep them warm. Senior dogs and cats might need additional calories to help keep warm as the temperature drops. Consider adding in some canned food or even some of our dehydrated food to your pet’s regular diet.
Enjoy this quiet time of winter. Teach your dog some new skills, like how to stand.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcPnuCeHxfA]
This skill is great for winter, because you can ask your dog to stand while you towel him off. Use your ‘shake’ or ‘paw’ command to have your dog hand you a paw for you to clean off. Or if you have cats, why not try some kitty training?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6wgbCmaD8o]
Most of all, spend time with your animals. We can’t think of much better than a cat purring in our ear and a dog snoozing in our lap while we drink a cup of hot chocolate and watch the snow fall. Happy Winter everyone!