Colder temperatures create special concerns for pet parents. Here at Raleigh Pawz, our mission is to make your fur babies as comfortable and happy as possible. Here are some ways to help keep your pet healthy and happy during the cold winter months.

As pet parents, we are attuned to our pets’ behaviors. Here are some signs and actions that can indicate your pet might be in distress:

Your dog is shivering. This behavior is relatively easy to fix, if your dog is shaking or cuddling more than usual, they are more than likely quite cold. If you can, try to get your pet to wear a sweater or a coat.

Your dog does not want to go for their walks. While this could merely be due to them being cold, it could also be more significant. They might have something on/in their paw or paw pad. Take a few moments to examine their feet and remove any debris or balls of ice that might have accumulated on their paws.

If your dog is acting anxious, slowing down, or whimpering, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, these are signs that your dog could be developing hypothermia. It is critical to get them inside and get them warm if you are noticing these behaviors.

Here are some tips to help keep your pet healthy and happy this winter:

Limit your pet’s time outdoors.

A general rule of thumb is that if it is too cold for you to be outside for any amount of time, then it is also too cold for your pet. However, if your pet must be outside for an extended amount of time in the cold make sure you provide them adequate shelter (a place that is dry and warm) that blocks them from weather conditions. If temperatures are low, then the inside of your home is the best place for your pet. A pet’s fur coat can only do so much when it’s cold outside.

Keep your pet hydrated.

During the winter months, the air both inside and outside homes becomes drier. Be sure to provide your pet with plenty of fresh water, so they stay hydrated and keep an eye out for skin conditions. Also, keep a check on the water to make sure it isn’t too cold. Visit a veterinarian if your pet starts having flaky skin or if their coat appears overly oily.

Take care of your pet’s paws.

When you are walking your dog, keep an eye out for salt, ice, and other toxic chemicals that can affect your pet’s paws. Take time to wipe down their paws each time they have been outside.

Put the antifreeze away.

Make sure antifreeze containers are out of the reach of your pets. Antifreeze can be deadly for curious dogs (and cats too). It is essential to make sure that these items, which are popular this time of year, are put away so that dogs and cats can’t get to them, and that they are closed tightly.

At Raleigh Pawz, our dedicated dog walkers are aware of the signs of cold-weather exposure, and closely monitor your dog’s behavior. Whether it’s a mid-day walk, or we’re pet-sitting, our staff is committed to making sure your pet is healthy and happy while in our care. To schedule dog walking or pet sitting visits, visit our scheduling page.