If you own a pet, you know that taking care of the animal goes further than simply feeding him and taking him on walks.

If you want your pet to be healthy and happy, you have to think about the best ways to enhance his or her comfort. It is important to realize that just like humans, pets feel the effects of extreme weather.

Unless you are lucky enough to live in a location where you have warm weather all year round, you have to think about how to take care of your pets during winter. There are some tips that will help to protect your beloved pets from the dangers of the harsh winter weather.

Keeping pets indoors

If you have pets that spend most a lot of their time outdoors, winter is a time to change this pattern. Playing for hours in the backyard is no longer an option, especially if you live in an area that experiences bitterly cold winters. Keeping the pet indoors during the winter months is advisable and when you must go out, make sure that the pet is warm and do not spend too much time outside. Remember that animals feel the temperature just like humans and you do not want your cuddly pet turning into an icicle!

Warm outdoor shelter

If it is a must to keep your pet outdoors during winter, make sure that you provide a warm shelter. If you have a dog, you have to remember that its fur, however thick it might seem, is simply not adequate to keep your four-legged buddy protected in winter. While there are dog breeds that can handle the cold weather, most will not. Make sure that the outdoor shelter is dry, warm and draft free. The shelter must comply with any laws that may exist in your state.

Food and fresh water

Make sure that you keep an eye on the pet’s food and water bowls during winter. Remember that it takes more energy for the animal to stay warm during winter. This means that your pet will tend to eat more during winter. It is important to ensure that your pets have an adequate amount of food and fresh water. Checking the bowl regularly will help to ensure that your pet has running water and not a frozen lump of ice!

Your pet’s dietary needs

It is a good idea to find out about the best winter diets for your indoor pets. Indoor animals have different dietary needs and you need to realize that they sleep more during winter hence they conserve energy. During winter, your dogs or cats get less exercise as they spend most of their time indoors and when they go out it is for a limited time. It is a good idea to adjust their food amount accordingly to avoid ending up with overweight pets.

Dressing your pet up in special sweaters, hats, booties, and other coverings is not just about making a fashion statement. The covers help to keep the pet warm in winter and they come in handy when you take your pets for their regular walks. Frostbite is a real problem during winter and it especially affects the animal’s ears, paws and the tips of the tails. Look out for signs of frostbite like blisters and waxy, firm skin too.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from a problem occurring during the winter, don’t hesitate to bring it down to our experienced veterinarian in jCroton-on-Hudson, NY.