When you love your pets, you want them to be happy, healthy, and safe all year round. That includes keeping them warm and safe during the cold winter months. There are many ways you can help keep your pets comfortable this winter, from bringing them indoors to protecting their paws. Here are four tips to keep your pets safe this winter.

Bring Your Pets Inside

Interior home winter pet safety
Interior pet A Little Crafty Nest

The number one danger pets face during the winter is exposure to the cold. If your dog loves to play around in the backyard all day or if your cat enjoys exploring the outside, you should limit their outdoor time during the cold winter months. While animals have fur that protects them from some cold, their coat is not thick enough to keep them warm for extended periods of time. Make sure you keep your pets in a warm, dry area free from drafts.

Protect Their Paws

Protect your puppy's paws this winter
Boots for your bud Pet Guide

You wouldn’t dare to go outside with bare feet in the winter, and even though your pet’s paws are naturally tougher than your feet, they can still become dry and cracked from the cold weather and salt used to melt ice and snow. Booties are the best way to protect your pet’s paws, though your pet may find them uncomfortable and strange. If you’re only taking your dog out for a quick walk so he can do his business, put some petroleum jelly on the pads of his paws to help keep them from cracking. Also, be sure to use pet-safe ice melts on stairs and sidewalks when you can to keep your companion safe from dangerous chemicals.

Wipe Them Down

Insulation: not just for your attic
Dry your pups Rinse Ace

Along with taking proactive steps to protect your pet’s paws, you need to also be reactive after your pet comes in from playing outside or going for a walk. Be sure to wipe down your furry friend with a dry towel to remove any cold moisture or chemicals she may have picked up while romping around outside. Also be sure to clean any rugs or carpets in your entryways to keep your home free from chemicals. If you don’t, your dog could lick her legs or paws and potentially ingest toxic chemicals that could lead to sickness or even death.

Add a Little More Food

Allow your furry friends to dine in the kitchen a little more
Pet Bucket

All animals use more energy in the winter to keep their bodies warm, so adding a little more food to your pet’s meals will help give him the calories he needs to stay healthy. Also be sure your pets have access to fresh, clean water at all times. The water will help keep your companions hydrated and keep their skin from drying out.

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