How to Prepare for Winter as a Pet Owner
The colder and windier months are approaching quickly, and for a pet owner and your furry friends, it’s time to make some changes around the home to prepare. From organizing your dog’s favorite areas to figuring out a way to make them more comfortable against the snow, it’s no secret that pet owners are busy (and even stressed) as the winter approaches.
If you find yourself prepping your home and pet for the winter, be sure to follow these essential tips to conquer the upcoming season with ease.
Clean and winterize your indoor areas
Just like any other season approaching, the first place to start preparing is deep cleaning your home and pet space. We all know that pet owners seemingly do much more cleaning than the average person, and that remains true even as winter rolls around. With that said, the first place to start cleaning is floors and couches. Any walkways that your dog roams around frequently is worth more than a quick wipe down. For hardwood floors, antibacterial wipes and thorough mopping are the way to go, as opposed to rugs that are better cleaned with vacuums and deep scrubbers. Finally with couches, be sure to deep clean these with vacuums, fabric shampoo, and stiff brushes to get deep down into the layers of the furniture. This is ideal for removing any odors they have, potential stains, and the overall cleanliness of the places you sit every day.
Another thing to think about as you clean is how technology can help you as you perfect your cleaning regimen. For example, an app like Spotless is perfect for organizing your cleaning checklist into tasks to save time and mental stress. Since cleaning can cover a large part of your home, it’s best to separate your cleaning into rooms. Another app to consider too is goPuff. This delivery service can bring any sort of cleaning item straight to your living room. A perfect solution if the weather isn’t great or you don’t want to leave your pet alone, check out their assortment of cleaning essentials that you can have dropped off almost instantly.
Create a warm atmosphere for your dog
Cold weather is something that not only affects us humans but also our dogs too. Depending on the breed, it can be contingent on how well they adapt to the wintertime. For example, some breeds like huskies and Akitas will require far less maintenance due to their thick fur, but some smaller dogs may require a little more TLC. This is why keeping them warm is so essential.
Some simple ways to keep your dog’s comfort in the forefront of your mind is to think about when you’re walking them. Early in the morning and late at night can be particularly frigid times during the winter months so reworking a walk schedule (or get them proper gear to face the cold) is essential. Do some research about what kind of clothing, leashes, and equipment can keep your specific kind of dog warmest. Next, remember to keep your indoor environment nice and warm. This means air temperature, blankets, and any other factors that can keep your dog (especially where they sleep) nice and cozy.
Finally, be sure you’re staying on top of your pet’s food and drinking water. These essential nutrients are what keeps your dog’s digestive and respiratory system running smoothly throughout the winter. Ensuring they receive the proper elements to fuel their bodies can help them stay healthy through the cooler months.
Tidy up the outdoor space
Similarly to cleaning up your indoor space, it’s just as important to tidy up any outdoor area your pet usually roams. There are a few things you should prepare for the backyard or outdoor space, starting with taking care of your trash, and picking up any litter, toys, or stray objects your curious dog might have played with throughout the year. Failure to collect items like this will make it less enjoyable to discover once the snow melts early next year.
Next, think about what area you would like to limit your dog to during the winter. For some owners, making no change to the size of a dog’s play area is fine, but for many, they will set up fences or barriers to restrict where their dog can poke around.
Last but not least, be mindful of different hazardous items your pet could come across. Rusty metal, snow salt, or just dangerous places in the yard. Always remember to be overprotective ahead of time rather than reactive after the fact. Check out some of these pet safety tips as well to make sure they’re in the safest hands possible.
Keep your pet’s paws clean
Every owner knows that keeping your dog’s paws clean is a near impossible task, and especially during the winter, it can be even tougher. Between snow, rain, and mud, all sorts of dirt and residue can be easily dragged into your home that can ruin your floors and furniture. To be proactive in combating this, be prepared with stocking up on towels, dog grooming items, and any other treats that will keep your dog still while you clean them off from coming outside.
Another issue, in regards to your dog’s comfort, is to be mindful of their sensitive paws and making sure they are clean and not full of snow or mud. The combination of these kinds of fluids in your dog’s paws with cold temperatures can lead to frostbite or even reduced blood flow in their bodies. Keeping their paws clean is good for you and them!
Winter is coming, and for you and your pets, you need to be prepared. Do some research, take your time, and even ask your pet owner friends how they’re preparing for the change of the year. Let us know in the comments as well what ways you’re prepping for the end of the year!