Wintertime can be the optimal season for resetting and laying low, but low temperatures can bring about a number of concerns when it comes to your pet’s safety and health. From dry skin to outdoor hazards, recognizing pet needs during this time of year can make a big difference in the comfort and health of your pet!
Winter can bring a dip in temperatures, and in hydration—for both humans and pets! Cooler air can often mean drier air, which can leave our pets feeling parched. Plus, our pets are less likely to drink water in cooler weather — which is a perfect recipe for dehydration. Two ways to ensure pets are getting added hydration are Primal Bone Broth and Raw Goat Milk. In addition to adding moisture to our pets' diets, Bone Broth assists with joint health and liver support, while Raw Goat Milk aids with digestion and probiotic intake!
Pet’s nutritional needs during the winter can be tricky. If your pet is spending more time outside, you may speak with your veterinarian about increasing their calorie intake, as pets playing outside can burn more energy to stay warm. However, it is important to keep their weight in a healthy range—a pet adding “winter fluff”, or becoming overweight, is not beneficial to them.
If you live in a climate that gets snow or frigid weather, you have probably experienced dry skin. Pets do too! There are a number of ways that pet parents can help keep their pet’s skin and fur healthy. Brushing pets on a regular basis removes dandruff and skin flakes while spreading natural oils to help create a moisturizing barrier. However, bathing less frequently is also beneficial so as not to wash away important oils that keep pet skin less irritated.
Incorporating more raw and fresh foods into a pet's diet can also help with a healthy coat. Many Primal products, such as our Sardine Market Mix Raw Topper are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, also found in fish oil in other Primal products. Omega-3s are an excellent nutrient to keep your pet’s coat smooth and skin from drying out, improve heart and joint health and support the overall health of our pets.
Ice melt or antifreeze are commonly used during the winter to minimize ice. Pets consuming these can result in a serious medical threat. To prevent your pet from ingesting toxins, make sure to keep an eye on them while out for walks. Do not allow your pet to eat or lick salt that may be on the ground to defrost the ice, and be sure to wipe down their paws and legs when they arrive inside to get rid of any debris on their skin or fur. The combination of snow, ice, and ice melt can lead to dry or cracked paw pads or noses. A healing balm containing nourishing oils can also be considered to treat these uncomfortable ailments.
While “If you’re cold, they’re cold – bring them inside” has become somewhat overused, it's still important to remember that both dogs and cats can experience hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia in pets include: shivering, whining, curling up, pale gums, and cold feet, tail, or ears. There are breeds that love cold weather and tolerate cold temperatures well, such as Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, and Alaskan Malamutes. However, in most cases, it’s important to take steps to prevent hypothermia such as having your pet wear a coat or booties or ensuring they have areas to stay warm. During very low temperatures, walks or time outside should be minimized. Finally, when outside in the snow, be very careful of bodies of water. A fall through the ice is life-threatening, for both pets and people who often will venture in to rescue pets after a fall.
With a watchful eye and a bit of planning, the winter can be an enjoyable and enriching time for pets and people alike!