Surviving this winter, healthy and happy!

By Arbutus West, on Friday, November 17th, 2017

With the cold weather truly settling in for the winter season, here are a few helpful tips to make sure both your pets and neighbourhood wildlife get through the long winter ahead in one piece.

Lets start with Think and Thump! The warmth from your car is appealing to a lot of creatures trying to avoid the cold, so always remember to thump on the hood of your car and above your wheels before starting your car in the morning, or anytime it’s been sitting for a few hours.
All the salt and sand on the sidewalks is not only tough on your pups paws, but can also make them sick if ingested. Always remember to dry your dog’s paws off after every walk, and use a damp cloth to clean between their toes. If their pads are looking a little worse for wear, there are some great booties on the market to keep their feet warm and protected, as well as a number of pad restoring balms. If you want to go with something simple, rubbing a little coconut oil into your pooches pads will help soften up cracked dry skin, is safe and absorbs super-quick, so no risk of slippery paws or floors!
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For short-haired dogs, investing in a warm, waterproof jacket will keep your pet comfortable and cosy in the rain or snow, and if you’re heading up into the mountains there are even full-body snow suits so your pooch won’t have to miss out on the fun!
Heating up a water-bottle for your dog or cat, bunny or ferret, or even guinea pig to sleep with is a treat for them in the cold weather too! Just make sure it’s not too hot to the touch, (bury it away in some blankets if you’re unsure) and watch them drift off into a blissfully warm slumber.
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If you have wildlife in your neighbourhood, give them the gift of a warm shelter this winter with this easy DIY project from the BCSPCA  and you’ll have some very grateful critters, happy to have a place to wait out a storm or get some sleep in a safe space.
Have fun this winter everyone, and remember that if you ever see an animal in distress, call your local wildlife rescue, SPCA branch or veterinarian for advice or help!

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