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Be Prepared to Keep Your Pets Warm Ahead of Winter Weather

Be Prepared to Keep Your Pets Warm Ahead of Winter Weather

Well, it appears that winter has arrived particularly early this year in Massachusetts, with widespread snow on November 15 and bone-chilling temperatures on Thanksgiving. Having the right gear can make winter more enjoyable for both you and your pets, especially for dogs, who still need exercise when the weather isn’t the best.

Most New Englanders know that they ought to own a good pair of warm waterproof boots, a cozy coat, gloves, hats, etc. But do you have gear for your dog to keep him/her warm this season? Last year’s cold was so fierce that we had record sales in winter supplies, and our suppliers even ran out of some favorites so that we couldn’t restock them immediately. Please don’t wait to get the items you need to protect your pets from winter this season. Come on in and pick them up now!

Here are some of our top recommendations for winter preparedness:

  1. Make sure your small animals are in an appropriate area of your home to stay warm. Heating systems can vary, and that three-season porch you usually use for your pet may not stay warm enough in the cold winter months for your small animal. Be sure you know the appropriate temperature range to keep your small pets safe and healthy and move their habitats to a warmer part of your home if needed. Small animals can be very sensitive to extreme temperatures which can even be fatal for some so be sure to plan for this.
  2. Provide your pet adequate shelter if they spend any length of time outdoors. We do not recommend leaving any pets out in the cold for long periods, but we know that some of you may have arctic breeds and other pets who are still happy to spend some time in your yard. Or perhaps you are one of our good Samaritans who alters and feeds a feral colony of cats in your area. They should be provided with shelters as the cold temperatures roll in. We have a variety of dog houses available, including Dogloo dog houses, which are specifically designed to trap an animal’s body heat and keep them warmer in the cold winter months.
  3. Consider some clothes for your dog if you walk any length of time in the cold and snow. Even dogs who love the cold can become too chilly if they are outside for a long time and particularly if they get wet. A dog’s feet can become frost bitten and/or burned by road salt as well. We recommend having a water-resistant coat for your dog for winter weather, and even a full snowsuit if they spend lots of time hiking with you in the snow. Winter boots, such as Muttluks, can keep your dog’s feet warm, dry, and salt-free. For shorter excursions in the elements, a nice sweater or sweatshirt may be all they need.
  4. Having a foot balm can provide an alternative to boots as well. We love the product Musher’s Secret, a smooth balm that you rub onto your dog’s feet for protection from the salt and snow for shorter walks outside in winter weather. For longer periods of time in the snow boots are better, but this is a great product to protect feet for short walks and potty breaks.
  5. Get some enrichment items for days when walks are just not in the cards. While dogs need exercise, physical exercise is not the only form. It can be dangerous to try to walk in blizzard conditions or when wind chills are very cold. Luckily, there are many items you can buy to give your dog mental stimulation and use their senses to engage them. We recommend having some chew toys on hand such as bully sticks and Himalayan dog chews, some treat balls such as the omega tricky treat ball or IQ treat ball, and other interactive puzzle toys to keep your dog busy and entertained on days when outdoor access is limited.
  6. Keep a supply of pet safe ice melt handy. Regular ice melt and road salt can burn a dog’s feed and can be toxic if ingested. Be very careful about your dog’s exposure. Luckily, there are several brands of pet safe ice melt available such as the ever-popular Safe Paws, which will melt the ice and reduce the risk of slips and falls but are safe for your dog to walk on. We highly recommend keeping yourself in good supply of this product so that you are ready when storms hit.

If you need help getting your pet outfitted for winter weather, come into the store and we’d be happy to help. If you need gear for your friendly dog you can bring them in and we will help you to determine the correct sizes. We are here to help! We hope you have a safe and happy winter season.

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