Pets are good wellness companions, as they help individuals manage loneliness, improve mood, exercise more, and enhance their social skills. That’s why over half of the world’s population has a pet at home, with dogs being the most popular pet, according to Health for Animals. However, to enjoy the companionship pets provide, you need to keep your dog, cat, or hamster safe from elements that might affect its health.
Unlike what many people believe, your responsibility as a pet parent doesn’t entail preventing fleas and ticks only. You must also learn how to keep pets safe in all temperatures. Like humans, pets are prone to allergies and illnesses during the cold season and become victims to pests in the warm seasons. Read on to learn essential tips for protecting pests during different seasons.
Plan for Seasonal Changes
As seasons change, so do temperatures, and these fluctuations affect your pet’s health significantly. For instance, during winter, when temperatures are below freezing point, dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets are more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. On the other hand, hot weather increases the risk of lethargy, heat strokes, difficulty breathing, and increased heart and respiratory rate, while spring brings about environmental irritants that trigger allergies.
During spring, pets are also prone to overexertion and exposure to toxic chemicals. So, no matter where you’re located, creating a year-round pet safety care plan is crucial. Having a good seasonal pet care guideline ensures your pet stays fit, eats healthy, and maintains an attractive coat.
Don’t Overlook Grooming
Skin and coat care is essential for your dog’s or cat’s overall wellbeing throughout winter, summer, and spring. During winter, for example, dogs and cats grow a thick coat that provides extra warmth. But without proper grooming, your pet’s fur becomes matted or tangled. Matting prevents proper temperature regulation, leading to skin irritation and hides fleas and ticks, which cause pain and discomfort.
To prevent matting, bathe your pet and brush the coat regularly. Brushing your pet’s fur helps distribute natural coat oils, making the hair appear healthy and shiny. However, be cautious not to bathe your pet when it’s too cold. Instead, wipe in between baths or use a freshening spray.
While dogs shed out their coats in summer, you can’t ignore the importance of regular grooming to prevent matting. Consider trimming your pet’s fur, and make it a habit to bathe your dog every day with flea and tick prevention shampoo. Besides bathing and brushing pet hair, trim your dog or cat’s nails, examine their paws for burns and cuts, and check their eyes and ears for parasites and infections common during the cold and hot seasons.
Prioritize Exercise, But Do so with Caution
Pets need to exercise every day to prevent behavioral problems and health risks like obesity and joint pain. The good thing about exercising pets is that there are many ways to do it. For instance, you can play tug of war and fetch with your dog at the park during summer or opt for short wintry walks. If you’re a cat parent, encourage them to move around with climbable objects within the house.
While exercise enhances pet health, you need to take measures to keep your pet safe. In winter, for instance, your furry friend can experience hypothermia if exposed for extended periods in the cold. Going for a 10-minute walk instead of long walks in winter is one of the best ways to ensure your pet stays warm. Also consider jackets, sweaters, boots, and earmuffs for pets. Remember, warm sweaters aren’t only ideal for pets with thin or light coats, but even those with thick coats need warmth when temperatures drop.
You’ll also want to take caution when the weather is hot to protect your pet from heat strokes, hot spots, pests, and lethargy. On hot days, schedule walks and play time early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cool. You should also keep your pet hydrated, avoid walking your dog on concrete pavements to protect their paws, and provide cool shelter where your pet can relax away from direct sunlight. If your dog or cat has light fur around the nose, apply sunscreen to prevent sunburns.
Have a Year-Round Pest Control Strategy
Pests like ticks, fleas, ants, mites, rodents, and snakes are common when the weather is warm. For this reason, many pet parents prioritize pest control during summer and spring only. But pests also find their way into your home during winter. And failure to eliminate them can cause serious health problems for your pet. With this in mind, create a pest control strategy for all seasons. That way, you can easily plan for property maintenance to ensure all entry points are sealed, keep lawns well maintained, and spray pesticides to keep ticks, fleas and other parasites away.
Owning a pet is fulfilling, as they provide unconditional love and companionship. But to enjoy the health benefits pets offer, you need to protect from risks brought about by different temperatures. Both warm and cold temperatures increase the risk of allergies, illnesses, and pest bites and infections. To ensure your dog, cat, or other pet stays safe during summer, winter, spring, and fall, prepare for temperature changes in advance, prioritize grooming, keep pets active, and have a pest control strategy in place.