Preparing for winter is not just thinking about how to stay warm, but it’s also about considering the needs of your furry friends. It’s especially important because the winter months come with a lot of snow and ice, both of which means all kinds of messes can happen if you’re not careful.
A few simple changes to your routine will help keep your pets safe and healthy, with enough sleeping space and unfrozen water bowls. So here’s a list of tips to help you prepare your house for your pets before the winter sets in.
Tip #1 Remove any poisonous plants at home
Everyone knows that pets love to chew on stuff (and not always because they’re bored), so if your dog or cat is like many others, it may take only one taste for them to be hooked—on poison.
Unfortunately, many types of poisonous plants can be harmful or even lethal to pets. They include indoor plants like the lilies and sago palms, as well as outdoor plants like oleander and autumn crocus.
Tip #2 Place your trash can indoors
There’s nothing worse than having your dog get into the trash. But during winter, it’s not only unpleasantly smelly for you and your pet; it can be downright dangerous. That’s because if your pet eats something that has gone bad, they will likely get sick; plus, your trash can will smell, and so will your house.
Tip #3 Staying warm is not just about staying inside
If you have pets, chances are they spend much of their time outside, whether it’s because they like to explore or they’re just not good at sharing the only comfy chair in the house. But everyone knows that they need to dress appropriately for winter, and your furry friends do as well.
Keeping your pet warm will help ensure better health and happiness during cold weather. You can even get sidings installed for good measure. Just make sure professional siding contractors do it.
Tip #4 Unfrozen water is key
Whether you put out food or not, your pet needs to stay hydrated throughout the day; that means having a bowl of fresh and unfrozen water. If there’s one thing almost every single hypothermia story can tell you, it’s that frozen water is not an option.
You can also get a heated bowl, which would help prevent water from freezing overnight. That’s important because it’s not only dangerous to your dog or cat, but it’s also downright hazardous to them.
Tip #5 Use a microfiber cloth for a quick cleanup
When the pups track in mud and dirt, you’ve probably got to use the hose, broom, and mop, all of which are likely to take you a lot of time. You can save yourself hours with this little secret: microfiber cloths (a.k.a. magic erasers).
You can simply get out one of these simple but powerful cloths to pick up dry dirt and mud, leaving your floors looking perfect. For wet spots, you can use a dry microfiber cloth to sop up the wet dirt before it stains.
Tip #6 Having enough space for playtime is important
Even dogs confined to homes need their exercise and not just during winter. When they have nothing else to do, they will find trouble to get into. Thus, having enough space for your dog to play in is critical.
This doesn’t mean that your pup needs a backyard of their own, though that would be nice. Otherwise, you could designate one corner as their “play place.” Not only does it give dogs and cats plenty of room to move around, but it also helps redirect behaviors that might otherwise be destructive or uncomfortable for humans.
Tip #7 Keep your dog well-groomed
A winter pet is a dirty pet. That’s because without the sun beating down, dirt and mud stay put, and not just on the ground. They can get into your pet’s fur, leaving them with a dirty and icky coat that they will never be able to shake off.
Keeping your dog clean not only makes you feel better about having them around in the house, but it also keeps their skin healthy, which is especially important during the cold, dry winter months.
As the winter months approach, it’s important to think about how your pets will stay warm and have plenty of water. And while you may be tempted to simply buy them a new coat or some boots, other ways will keep them safe and healthy without breaking the bank. So give these tips a try before the cold weather really settles in.