How to Weather a Snowstorm with your Pet

By: Dogs Corner

When the weather report announces an impending blizzard, you may do a shopping run and stock up on candles and flashlights to prepare for potential outages and travel difficulties. However, it's also important to prepare for keeping your pet safe in snowy, wintry weather. Snowstorms can be hard on outdoor dogs and cats, who may need to be moved indoors until the weather starts to warm up. The following are a few winter safety reminders to keep the furry members of your family safe and sound.

Stock Up on Supplies

Just as you would stock up on non-perishable items before a major snowstorm, it's best to purchase some extra pet food and medicine that your pets might need during this time. Travel could be difficult during blizzard conditions. It's also important to prepare for the possibility of a power outage, particularly if you have pet fish or reptiles that could be affected. Find a backup source of heat or light for animals that need it.

Keep Pets Indoors

Although your dog or cat may normally stay outside, in harsh winter conditions you'll need to keep them safe and warm. If your pet cannot come indoors for some reason, be sure to give them a dry enclosure that's free from drafts. This should be raised off the floor by a few inches and covered with insulating material like straw. Cover the doorway with heavy plastic or another waterproof material to keep the cold wind and snow out. You may also want to bundle your pet with these dog clothes from Dogs Corner to keep them safe and dry. However, if possible your pet should be kept inside for the duration of the storm.

Stave off Boredom

Dogs that are used to the outdoors may have a lot of pent-up energy when kept inside during the stormy weather. You can burn off excess energy with fun games of tug-of-war, obstacle courses, or even hide and seek with doggie treats. If your neighbours have dogs too, you could try to arrange an indoor playdate to keep the dogs happy and socialised.

Stay Safe after the Storm

Dog CoatWhen the storm passes, you'll all want to run outside and get some fresh air after being cooped up in the house for such a long time. Yet care must be taken when venturing out into the ice and snow. Salt and other chemicals can irritate your pet's paws, particularly as the snow melts. Wipe off paws or put booties on your dog's feet to protect them. Antifreeze is deadly to pets, so if you see any spills you will need to clean them up immediately. Dog coats can keep your pet safe and warm, particularly if you have a small or short-haired breed. Winds may still be strong after the storm has passed. Dogs are much more likely to get lost during the winter, as snowy landscapes may look different to what they're used to. Make sure your pets wear identification and keep your dog on a leash when possible.

Winter storms can be scary and dangerous for pets. By preparing for inclement weather, you can keep your pet happy and healthy indoors and prevent accidents when the blizzard passes.

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