Water provision throughout the course of the day is a necessity for your dog’s health. And despite the controversial statements about dogs dying of dehydration because their water froze during the night, you can rest assured that your dog is not going to die if his water freezes during the night while he is mostly asleep anyway. However, there are some things you can do to prevent your dog’s water from freezing during the night.
For starters, you can invest in a heated bowl for your dog to use while outside. Also, you can use an electric water heater. Although heated bowls and water heaters solve the water freezing problem, they do not take the place of your dog getting adequate stimulation.
Here is the K&H thermal-Bowl outdoor heated water bowl. It is rated 4.5* from 1,181 customer reviews and at ¢19.88 is well priced.
Grooming and Hygiene:
You should always make sure you groom your dog regularly. Never shave, trim or cut your dog’s hair in the winter because they need the full weight of their coats to help maintain the proper body temperature. Make sure your grooming schedule is regular enough to keep your dog’s hair from getting matted, which significantly decreases the ability of your dog’s fur to keep him insulated. If your dog suffers from a lot of dandruff issues in the dry, wintry weather, regular grooming will help provide relief from that.
When you bathe your dog, make sure you do it indoors and allow the dog to dry completely before letting them back outside. If you must decrease the number of baths you give your dog, then do so. For some breeds, it may be safe to not bathe them at all. Either way, just remember that dogs take a lot longer to dry when the weather is cold outside. So, make sure your dog is completely dry before you send your pet back outside to prevent the potential for catching colds.
If your dog is sensitive to wintry weather, shorter warm water baths and a very quick drying off are recommended. Do not bathe dogs in cold water because it makes it difficult to for their bodies to warm up.
The only part of your dog that should see trimming is the hair around the paw pads. Trimming the hair in this area prevents the footpads from experiencing ice buildup and snow balling. Always check your dog’s paws for cuts, cracks and dirt/debris after each walk. When possible, useE45 or Vaseline to keep your dog’s paws conditioned, but also note that this may make your floors throughout the house have greasy prints.
When outside, you might want to have your dog wear dog booties. If your dog doesn’t like booties, then make sure you remove the salt and snow removal products off your dog’s paws after each walk to keep your dog’s paws from becoming irritated and to keep your dog from getting poisoned from the chemicals in the snow removal product.
Here is My Busy Dog water resistant dog shoes. The product has been rated 4.3* on Amazon at $35.99.
Dogs need social stimulation to maintain a healthy life. They need to be able to interact with humans or other dogs. If they can’t interact with other dogs, at least allow them to be entertained by other livestock. Take time to walk your dog in all types of weather (except in conditions where the ground is slippery). Try to have on bright clothes and/or reflective wear (for you and for your dog if possible) so drivers can see you when the sun goes down. If you are keeping the hair trimmed around your dog’s paws, then you reduce the chances of ice balls, which are often very painful to our dog. If you are elderly, you may want to opt to do indoor games with your dog instead. As long as you are keeping your dog stimulated with social interaction, you won’t have to worry about your dog emotionally suffering and manifesting odd behaviors like excessive barking, chewing and other abnormal behaviors.
Check out the Kurgo Loft reflective dog jacket to keep your pooch warm on their winter walk. It’s $18.40 and has been rated 4.4* on Amazon.
Winter Survival Tips for Other Animals
Cat winter survival guide
- Most cats love to be inside when it’s winter season, but if yours likes to be outdoors, keep them a nice, heated outdoor pet house to go snuggle up in. In extreme temperatures, your cat should always be kept inside to prevent frostbite and hypothermia even if they don’t prefer it.
- When in doubt about the safety of your cat, keep them inside. Some cats crawl into car engines or other dangerous areas to keep warm.
- Use a litter tray outside when the ground has snow for cats that like to be outside. Also, make sure your cat can get back in and out the house freely.
- Some people prefer to microchip their cat to keep track of them in case they wander off.
- Holiday staples like lilies, and poinsettia are nice for the occasion but are harmful to your cat. In fact, they are actually poisonous to them. Also, cats love tinsel. It may not be poisonous, but it is a nuisance and will have to be removed from your cat’s stomach or rear end if ingested.
Rabbit and cavie winter survival guide
- Make sure your rabbit or cavie’s outdoor pet house is not in the path of cold air, rain or snow streams. If you live in an area where there is a lot of bad weather, you may want to keep the hutch inside an unused shed or garage. Cavies should be kept inside when it’s winter. If they must be outside, make sure they are in a garage or conservatory.
- Pets that need to stay outside need to have a snug hutch with a nice warm blanket or warm sackcloth with extra bedding (that you will have to change regularly).
- Even if you have a specially made bottle cover to keep the water bottle from freezing, make sure you regularly check the bottle by pressing the ball every couple of hours to make sure the water is flowing.
- Make sure your pet has a lot of nourishing calories to help them stay warm (for example, premium grade hay).
- Make sure your pets run is available so they can maintain their health with regular exercise.
- Keep a sturdy and secured hutch because some animals get friskier during the winter (especially foxes and badgers)
Horse winter survival guide
- The cold, wintry winds will often spook horses and cause them to act abnormally. Use caution when riding them and interacting with them in the winter season.
- As far as tolerating the temperature of winter, horses can do that very well. However, they do have a problem with rain and wind conditions. A line of trees or a windbreak can help your horses tolerate these conditions.
- To keep your horse dry, you can invest in thick rug that can be found at many of your local markets. Horses with fine coats will need a heavier rug than those with a thicker coat, and some thick coated horses may not need a rug at all.
- To prepare for the spring season, most horses start losing weight during the winter season. Make sure you monitor your horse’s weight to prevent a loss of excess weight. If your horse starts losing weight excessively, increase his hay intake. Laminitis can still affect an overweight horse; so, make sure your horse is regularly checked.
- As with all pets kept outdoors, make sure your horse’s water is still flowing by breaking up and removing ice from it. A floating tennis ball in the trough will also help to keep the water from freezing so quick.
- If your horse becomes chilled after a workout, take your horse on a brisk walk, or use a cooler blanket to reduce the heat loss.
- We all know that grazing is not well accomplished in the winter season. But don’t let this cause your horse to go searching for food in hedgerows and ditches that may contain hazardous materials that your horse may consume. To prevent your horse from wandering to graze elsewhere, make sure all fences and hedges are secured—especially those that face roads and ditches. You may have to add extra fencing around the hedges to reinforce them as they lose leaves during the winter.
- If you are taking your horse to a new grazing location, make sure it’s done early in the morning so your horse can get accustomed to going to the new location.
- Use reflective gear when horse riding and have a cellphone handy in case of emergencies.
- Never ride your horse in icy or foggy conditions.
- Have an action plan on how to rescue your horses in case of heavy snow. Know who’s all involved and how you plan on carrying out the plan from start to finish.
Ferret Winter Survival Tips
Ferrets actually like the cold more than they do hot weather. However, that should not deter you from making sure your ferret is safe during dropping temperatures because ferrets are prone to catching the flu.
Never have your pet’s cage in the pathway of cold winds. Your ferret’s cage should be situated with a dry space where he can snuggle up, hide and sleep whenever he desires. Keep the ferret’s “toilet” spot dry and clean to prevent it from freezing during the night hours.
The bedding in your ferret’s cage should be changed regularly during the winter season if it’s cage is kept outdoors. The frequency in which you change your ferret’s bedding depends on whether you wish to do it daily or every other day. The litter tray or “toilette” area needs to be kept clean at all times—often cleaned throughout the day. If you keep a regular schedule of maintaining a clean environment for your ferret, then the only odor your ferret should ever have is one that comes from the actual environment outdoors.
No matter what type of water container you have for your ferret, it must always be cleaned and refilled with fresh water every day. Any old food must be immediately discarded to prevent the development of harmful bacterial growths inside the ferret’s cage. These cage hygiene practices are very helpful should your pet ever have an open wound.
Although ferrets love tunneling and playing in the snow, their wet fur can cause them to get chilled. Damp environments are not good for your ferret’s health. Therefore, if your ferret is shivering after having playtime in the snow, then place him back into his cage so he can warm up again. Also, warming up your ferret helps reduce the chances of him catching the flue or getting frostbitten, which is something you should always be checking for in the winter. The signs they might be suffering from frostbite include the following:
- Extremities (like the nose, ears and tail) will start turning red then become very pale
- Following the colour changes in the extremities is a feeling of numbness in the nose, ears and paws.
Allow your ferret from 10 – 15 minutes to frolic in the snow. Don’t leave them unattended because they will have the tendency to go off somewhere and get lost. A nice harness with a lead is a valuable tool to have when your ferret is having his play time.
Based on the information presented here, it is clear that pets can be kept outside during the winter months. If owners do their part to maintain the health and happiness of their pets, then their pets should see many winters to come with no problems. We, at MyCosyPet, hope you found this article helpful!