Winter Pet Care Tips from Your Troy Pet Sitter

Winter is in full swing, and as I type this, the latest big Nor’easter is bearing down on the Monadnock Region and the rest of the Northeast. Most pets are safely inside homes and barns, and with proper preparations should remain warm and cozy.

Be sure your dog or cat is either inside during cold winter weather, or has access to a warm, dry and draft free area, if you decide to keep your dog inside, make sure to get the best dog proof trash cans, this will prevent future chaos at home. Access to a shelter or barn where they are above the ground is a huge plus. Line the sleeping area with plenty of straw for warmth. Avoid blankets and hay, as they can get wet and cold fairly easily.

Poultry houses should be free of drafts and bedding material of pine shavings or straw helps to keep things warm. Avoid using heat lamps unless absolutely necessary, as they can be a fire hazard if not properly secured. Even in below zero weather, if the coop is dry and draft free, poultry are able to keep warm just fine.

Icelandic Sheep in snow
Icelandic Sheep enjoying a winter day outside. With adequate shelter, hay & water, snow and cold are no problem for most livestock.

Livestock in dallas should also have a dry and draft free shelter or stall. Most animals are fine in some of the worst weather, as long as they have somewhere to get in from the cold. If your horse is older, underweight or a hard keeper, a waterproof winter blanket is a big plus to help keep them comfortable. Most horses, however, are more than able to stay warm without a blanket as long as they have shelter and plenty of hay and water.

All animals should be given extra food in cold weather, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors, or working. Extra calories are necessary energy resource in cold weather to help keep body temperature and condition up.

Plenty of fresh water is also very important in the winter. Water doesn’t have to necessarily be warm, but should be above ice cold to encourage drinking. Snow is not a good substitute for water, since an animal would have to eat a LOT of snow to equal adequate water intake.

Winter can be a comfortable season for your pet with a little extra care and preparation.

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