As the majority of the country braces for snow storms and extremely low temperatures this weekend, the Houston area is reeling from ice-related accidents and injuries resulting from the recent Arctic freeze. Because winter temperatures in Katy and its environs can drop considerably and, having seen what freezing temperatures did to other areas of Texas in recent years, today we’re sharing our tips for preparing pets for freezing weather. These tips serve as a reminder to keep your furry family safe no matter what Mother Nature sends our way this time of year.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Indoor Shelter
Always ensure your pets have a warm and dry place to stay indoors during freezing weather. While most of our pets are covered in fur, they would naturally seek shelter during extreme temperatures. Outdoor pets will be safer and more comfortable indoors, even if it is in a small closet or bathroom.
A freeze can easily cause power outages. When planning for freezing weather, think about what you’ll do for yourself and your pet(s) if there is no way to heat your home. This blog lists some ways to heat a home without electricity.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Warm Bedding & Accessories
Provide your pets with cozy bedding, such as blankets or pet beds, to keep them warm. If the interior of your home drops below fifty degrees, consider elevating pet beds or placing them over layered rugs and carpeting to keep them from direct contact with cold floors.
A warm coat or sweater is a great way to keep dogs warm outdoors and, if/when necessary, indoors. While most cats have a hard time taking to clothing, having a sweater on hand for emergencies could be beneficial. You’d be surprised how cozy cats will get when faced with freezing indoor temps.
If you care for outdoor community cats, visit Alley Cat Allies to learn how to protect them from extreme temperatures and other weather events.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Limit Outdoor Time
Minimize outdoor activities during extremely cold weather. If your pets need to go outside, keep the trips short and supervise them closely. When outdoors, beware of black ice both for your safety and that of your dog’s joints.
Avoid driving in extreme temperatures, especially if icing is expected. Unless it’s an emergency, postpone veterinarian and grooming appointments if possible.
And, don’t even think about letting your indoor/outdoor cat outside or letting your dog off-leash. Weather events are not a time to take any unnecessary risks. Keep your pets extra safe to prevent injury and illness.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Protect Paws
Ice, snow, and salt on the sidewalks can be harsh on your pet’s paws. Consider using pet-safe ice melt and, if necessary, protect their paws with booties. Nature’s Blend makes a natural ice-melt that is safe for pets and kids.
Once inside, wipe your pet down to remove any ice melt they may have picked up outdoors and consider a bath if your pet rolls in an area where ice melt has been applied.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Proper Nutrition
Cold weather may require your pets to burn more calories to stay warm. Consult your veterinarian about adjusting their diet accordingly. With your vet’s permission, consider adding a canned sardine to your pet’s bowl once or twice a week. Sardines are one of the healthiest food toppers you can find and are safe – in moderation – for both cats and dogs unless otherwise instructed.
Make sure they have access to fresh and unfrozen water at all times. Because pipes can freeze during extreme low temperature events, have ample bottled drinking water on hand for your family, pets included.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Check for Hazards
Inspect your home for any potential hazards related to freezing temperatures, such as drafts, leaks, or malfunctioning heating systems. Fix any issues promptly to create a safe environment. Ideally, have your HVAC and heating serviced twice a year to prevent issues.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Emergency Kit
Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including their food, medications, medical records, and other essentials. This is especially important in case you need to evacuate or head to a nearby hotel due to water or power loss.
Preparing Pets for Freezing Weather: Identification
Ensure your pets have proper identification, such as collars with ID tags or microchips. In case they get lost during extreme weather, this will increase the chances of a safe return.
Finally, make loss prevention your priority during emergency weather events. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Remember, these tips can vary depending on the specific needs of your pets and the severity of the freeze in the area. Stay informed about local weather conditions and follow any advice or warnings from authorities.
At Animal Admiration, we take inclement weather and extreme temperatures very seriously. To learn more about our inclement weather policy and more, click here.
The Animal Admiration team offers quality care pet sitting and dog walking in Katy, Fulshear, Richmond, Energy Corridor, Memorial, West Houston, and Cypress. To learn more about our team and our services, contact us at email@example.com or (281) 391-1015.
Stay warm and keep yourself and your pets safe!