MILWAUKEE -- The cold and snow isn't just hard on all of us -- it can take a toll on your pet's too. But that doesn't mean you have to keep them cooped up indoors, they just need a little extra care. Erik Losby of Bentley’s Pet Stuff joins Real Milwaukee with some strategies to keep your dogs safe and healthy.
Cold Weather Tips for your Pet This Winter
● Stay Inside: It is a misconception that just because dogs and cats are wearing a fur coat, they are warm. Short hair cats and dogs especially need to be protected this winter. For dogs we offer sweaters, warm jackets, rain coats and booties to protect their paws.
● Provide Choices: Just like you, pets prefer a comfortable sleeping place or two. With options they can choose for a warm place or cooler depending on the time of day and temperature. Look for a thick bed and if possible one that is lifted off the ground, to absorb warmth. Use a heated pad in one area and a comfortable bed in a cooler location for maximum comfort. Avoid beds near space heaters or in the direction of the fireplace.
● Wipe Down: During walks we need to remember to not only wipe off paw pads and legs but remember to check your dogs belly that might pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that might be toxic.
● Use Pet Friendly salt at home: Use a pet friendly salt on your own driveway, pathways and sidewalks to protect your dogs paws and pads on their feet. And always give them a foot bath when possible since not everyone will have pet friendly salt on your walks.
● Food Energetics - an ancient philosophy with the belief that food has cooling, warming, or neutral properties that affect the pet`s health and overall well-being. Balancing the body can be accomplished with food. Cooling meats are for pets who are chronically warm, panting, thirsty,or dry. Warming meats are for pets who are chronically cold, fatigued, or have a poor appetite. (warm and hot proteins include; Lobster, Elk, Chicken and Lamb)