It may not get as bitterly cold in Florida as it does in other areas of the United States, but that doesn’t mean that your four-legged companions don’t need some extra special attention during the colder months. Their inability to utilize the thermostat or voice complaints about the temperature does not mean they don’t have particular cold-weather needs. Just as they comfort you, during the colder months, they rely on you for comfort.
If your pets are short-haired, small, elderly, or have any special medical conditions, they probably should stay indoors during the coldest times. Arthritic pets particularly have a much tougher time in cold weather and have difficulty walking, so walks outside should be restricted to short ones. A soft bed in a warm location in the house is ideal for pets that are especially vulnerable to the cold.
Pets with kidney or heart disease, diabetes, or Cushing’s disease, have problems regulating their body temperatures. Extreme temperature fluctuations are never a good idea, but especially for these special needs pets. Consider, before it gets cold, taking them in for a veterinarian check-up and allowing your veterinarian to make suggestions.
Some other helpful tips to keep your furry friends comfortable and healthy during cold weather include:
- Prepare the house for them. This means removing things that they might like to munch on could harm them or cleaning up anything that might be toxic to them, like antifreeze spilled on the floor in the garage for example. This also means not putting out excessive treats or food. Being inside and exercising less may cause them to put on a few pounds; it’s okay for your pets to consume a few extra calories during the cold months for additional energy and heat, but if they pack on too many extra pounds it can be detrimental to their long-term health.
- Although it may seem like an obvious solution, keeping pets warm should not include the use of space heaters. They are dangerous for several reasons, including the possibility that your companions could bump into them and overturn them, causing damage—in some cases fires—if they do not turn off automatically.
- Animals have natural adaptations that protect them from the cold, like their fur coats. Although you want to keep them warm, you must also remember that many heating products can dehumidify your air, rendering your pet’s natural protections from the cold useless. Try not to bathe them too frequently so that their skin doesn’t get dry and flaky and perhaps invest in a humidifier so that the indoor air quality in your home doesn’t cause respiratory or skin problems for your pet.
Our HVAC professionals at Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning can help you maintain excellent indoor air quality which will benefit not only your health, but also your pets’. We can provide a thorough inspection of your system to ensure it will keep you and your companions as comfortable as possible not only during the cold months, but all year round.
A properly operating heating and cooling system will keep you and your pets’ warm and your energy bills low. From reliable HVAC unit installation to any routine maintenance necessary, Snyder is the go-to company for the most dependable service in the Sunshine State.