Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day 8 in the 12 Days of Christmas Event

Ok Yall, cold weather is VERY new to me! Living in Japan has opened my eyes to cold weather care for my pets and I learned a lot last winter. This year, we are more prepared and I wanted to share some of my knowledge with yall.
I grew up in Texas and we have very mild winters there. From Texas we went to Guam and the Goldie's loved Guam! We could go to the beach just about every day of the year, bask in the sun and enjoy the sea breeze. We were all in for a rude awakening when we moved to Japan November of last year. It was cold, wet and very miserable. The Goldie's quickly grew in a winter coat but we encountered some other problems. There was very low humidity, so paws cracked, noses were dry, their skin was dry and itchy. We also had issues with paws getting raw from the roads being salted. Neighborhood cats are all around and we had to be mindful of them and their safety as well. Needless to say we had a laundry list of problems that we have never experienced before.
After some reading and talking with our vet we are prepared for this winter season and are ready to help you and your pets prepare as well.
Here is a basic list of what you need to keep in mind during the winter weather months.
1. Keep your cats inside.
 It is a well known fact that cats find warm places like up inside cars. Don't let your cat get injured or possibly killed by trying to find warm shelter. If you have cats in your neighborhood make sure to tap the hood to scare out any of them hiding under the hood before you start your car.
2. Layer on the clothes before going outside.
Sometimes dog clothes are a necessary evil and not just for our entertainment. Small dogs and short hair dogs are especially susceptible to the cold winter weather. Pets lose most of their body heat through their feet, ears and through panting. Cold pavement can quickly drop a dogs temperature when walking around. Invest in insulated jackets, sweaters, and even shoes if necessary.
3. Add Fish Oil to their daily allowance of food.
 Omega 3 Fatty Acids are a great supplement for improving the heath of your pets skin and coat. Omega 3's are great year around but we find them essential in winter months.
4. Wipe those paws!
After a trip outside make sure to wipe off your pets feet at the door with a warm damp cloth. This will wipe off any chemicals or salt from the roads and keep your pet from possibly ingesting these substances.
5. Keep those noses and feet from cracking!
 Noses and feet get cold, chapped, dry and cracked. Do some preventative care for your pet before these become a problem. We like to use nose butter, paw salve, and even coconut oil to keep noses and feet from drying out.
6. Be mindful of senior pets.
Older pets have a very hard time getting around in cold weather. Their joints are stiff, their arthritis can be very painful and it takes a while for them to get warmed and move a little faster. Make sure your senior pet has a warm, soft place to sleep. Keep an eye on them especially when going up or down stairs, navigating icy roads and/or around other dogs. A small slip, bump or misstep can cause a fall and it can be very painful for them.
7. Up their food intake!
If you have active pet like mine, you will want to increase their food ration during these cold months. Staying warm is hard work so they need a high quality and high protein food that will replace all that energy lost.
8. There's no place like home!
 Our pets love to be with us. They love the soft couch, the food dropped by the kids, a warm lap and being inside and warm. Take the pups out for potty breaks and short walks and return inside. Keep your kitties inside as well, give them warm places to nap away from drafts and off the floor. This is the best way to keep our pets safe this season. 


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