We are smack dab in the middle of another Canadian winter where we experience subzero temperature and blistering cold winds, we are constantly making sure the whole family is bundled up and warm during these colder months. As we prepare ourselves with jackets, mitts, scarves, hats etc, we also have to think about our pets during these cold winter months. 

January is one of Canada's coldest months and like people, our pets need to be protected this winter too! The following are some great winter pet care tips from IAMS and the SPCA we'd like to share with you to help keep your pet happy and healthy during the cold winter months. 

Check ups: Regular routine check ups are a good idea when it comes to your pet, especially right before the colder weather hits. Your vet can make sure your pet isn't sick or has any medical issues that may cause them to become ill during the winter months. Trust me from experience of losing a pet recently to pneumonia, they can get sick faster than you know it. It's always better to be safe than sorry. If you haven't already, book an appointment today!

Winter fashion for Fido: Owning a smaller dog means we have to take extra special care when he goes outside in the winter time. Being smaller he can easily freeze so we have used jackets and sweaters to help keep him warm. You can also get booties and other apparel for dogs at local pet stores or online specialty stores. Mind you not all dogs will dig wearing an outfit but its a good idea to help keep them warm.

Take care of the paws: When you take your dog out for a walk this winter, make sure to wash/wipe the bottoms of their paws after your walk. Salt and other chemicals the city uses to melt ice on roads and sidewalks can irritate your pets sensitive paw pads. Soaking your pets paws in warm water (if they'll let you) will also help take of debris like snow and sooth your pets paws warming them up after a brisk walk.

Your car is a freezer: During the winter when not running, a car can hit colder temperatures than outside being a closed in space. This makes your car like a freezer for your pet. Please do not leave your pet in a car in the midst of winter, they can easily catch cold and suffer hypothermia.

Consider the coat: Pet's coats aren't always winter friendly. When the temperature drops below zero pets like cats, short haired dogs, small dogs and puppies should not be left outside for longer periods of time than it takes them to do their business. These particular pets are more vulnerable to illness from cold weather. We have both a small dog and a large breed short-haired dog (our new addition to our fur baby family) and neither are left outside for a bathroom break for very long. Make sure to watch your dog, playful ones might forget just how cold it is and not remember to ask to come back in when they get cold!

Hydration: Keep an eye out for the amount of water your animal is drinking during the winter. If you keep water dishes in a cold area or even outside they can freeze and your pet won't be able to drink. You wouldn't want them turning to dirty water puddles or gutters outside which contain germs and chemicals which can make your pets very sick. Always have fresh, accessible water available for your pets at all times no matter what. It's important to keep hydrated, human and dog.

Heating with caution: There's nothing  better than warming up after being outside in the cold than lighting a fireplace fire or turning on that block heater. If you do, please remember that animals love anything warm and will get as close as possible to the source. Our chihuahua is always leaning up against the heaters, luckily they are safe and don't get hot enough to cause any harm but a fireplace can. Make sure paws and tails don't get too close to hot surfaces, coils or heaters - they could cause your pet harm or your pet could clumsily knock them over and cause the whole household danger! Worst case, simply save hassle and make a hot chocolate! ;-) 

Daisy and Mr.Ruffy - Keeping eachother warm!

For more information health and nutrition tips for cats and dogs of all life stages please visit www.iams.ca :)

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of P&G and IAMS. Compensation in the form of IAMS product was received in participation with this post. All other comments and opinions are those of the author. 

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