Sand snowman.

Winter is coming! Even in the relatively mild Florida winter, you’ll have to find ways to keep your pets safe, warm, and happy. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to make sure your dog or cat stays healthy during the colder months. Here are some tips for keeping your furry  friend comfortable when the temperatures drop.

Pet Wellness and Florida Winter Weather

Winter can be a great time to get outside with your pets and enjoy the cooler weather. While winter can sometimes be little more than a temporary reprieve from Florida’s humid summers, it can also be a risk for your pet’s health if the temperatures drop significantly. Pets are more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite in lower temperatures than humans.

Your first step should always be to check the weather before you go out with your pet. And, once outdoors, if you suspect that your pet is cold or if they seem listless or lethargic, don’t hesitate to take them inside immediately.

Provide Warmth and Coziness

Provide a warm, comfortable place for your pet to hang out. And to keep your dog or cat happy and healthy this winter, give them somewhere warm and snuggly to sleep. A spacious, cozy bed with an extra blanket will help your pet get through Florida’s winter nights comfortably.

Provide Plentiful Fresh Water and Food

Keep your pet hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water. Keep the water bowl indoors when it’s cold so it stays warm and doesn’t freeze over. If your pet prefers to drink from a running tap, check the temperature before giving them a drink. If it’s too cold for you, it may be too cold for them. 

It’s common for pets to drink and eat less when it’s cold. In the winter, warming your pet’s food and water to about ten degrees above room temperature may encourage them to eat and drink.

Limit Outdoor Time

The winter months can be tough on your pets, especially if they’re not yet acclimated to the cold. Keep them indoors as much as possible and limit their outdoor time.

In the winter, it’s essential to bundle up and dress your pet appropriately to protect them from cold temperatures. Try outfitting your pet with a warm sweater or coat to help keep them comfortable outside.

Keep Pets Entertained and Busy

  • Playtime. Every pet needs to play, and keeping busy will help keep them happy during the long winter months. Provide a safe place for your pet to play indoors. Consider investing in toys that are specifically designed for indoor use.
  • Treats and rewards. Keep your pet motivated with treats or rewards so that they’ll be excited about coming indoors when it’s cold outside.
  • Socialization. Make sure your pet still gets plenty of opportunities to socialize with other pets and people to keep them engaged and mentally healthy during the winter.

We hope these tips help you plan for your pet’s winter in Florida. If we can help with any questions or concerns related to winter pet wellness and cold-weather pet activities, please give us a call. At Animal Medical Center, our team is always here for you!