Now that it feels like we’re in the dead of winter here in the PNW, what should you do to keep your dogs happy and active? Whether it’s indoor play or outdoor play, we’re here to save you and your furry babies from being cooped up all winter long.
1. Watch out for stinging and cracked paws!
It’s important that you keep a close eye on those adorable paws during cold and wet months. While winter walks can be crisp and refreshing, cold damp sidewalks and the chemical agents used to defrost our areas is enough to dry out paws, cause discomfort, and lead to cracked, bleeding paws.
To protect your pet’s paws, apply a moderate layer of petroleum jelly or other pet paw protection waxes. This will add a barrier layer between your pet’s paws and the ground. When you’re done with your walk, always spread those furry toes and inspect paw pads for debris and injuries, as shown below.
If you live in an area with harsher winters, consider purchasing pet booties to keep those adorable furry feet protected and warm!
2. Bring a Towel on Walks
Can’t stay away from nature walks and hikes? Then be sure to bring a towel and water for your pup. On walks, periodically check your dog’s belly and legs to see if they need a quick towel dry. Wet bellies and legs can rapidly decrease body temperature
Also make sure to offer your dog some water in between dry offs. Cold winter months tend to be drier, which will increase their water needs.
3. Keep Your Home Warm and Humidified
ASPCA recommends keeping your home warm and humidified during winter walks. Repeated transitions from the cold to indoor dry heat can be taxing on your dog’s skin (and yours too!). Keeping a humidifier on during cold months will help skin retain some moisture.
4. Hold the Baths!
Bathe your pets less during the cold seasons to protect their skin. But if your dogs get muddy and dirty playing, it’s still best to bathe them. To keep their coats shiny and their skin moisturized, opt for oatmeal-based shampoos.
For dogs prone to dry skin and skin infections (like Cocker Spaniels), mix 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts shampoo to moisturize and cleanse at the same time. When you wash it off, the coconut oil will partially stay on their skin – leaving them silky and smelling good!
5. Get Them a Coat
Dogs that frequently walk in the cold will benefit from a nice jacket. While a simple fleece layer is enough for many large dogs, those who live in areas with heavier snowfall will also appreciate a significant extra layer. If you’d like to purchase something a little more heavy duty for your dog, check out Blue Willow Dog Coats.
6. Have Fun Indoors!
On days where weather is not cooperating, or where you would like to keep your dog clean, indoor play is an excellent option! Dogwood Play Park and House of Ruff in Seattle, offer canines and their companions a space of play and mingle. While your dogs have fun ruff-housing, you can grab a drink and relax! For the more introverted dog, K9 House of Fun offers a reservable space for solo-play.
Need last minute gift ideas for a fellow pet lover? Or do you have a loved one who has everything? Shop Seattle Humane! Give your special someone a holiday gift that’s cute and benefits animals in need.
1. For the person who loves to stay warm:
Our warm and cozy sweatshirt doesn’t just protect you from the cold! It also spreads our mission of serving pets in need, and celebrates shelter animals for the loving creatures that they are! Plus it comes in two cool colors to suit your person’s style.
Keep your loved one hydrated during his or her walks or runs! The Seattle Humane water bottle is made out of glass, which remains cleaner and odorless for longer than plastic. Lined with silicone, our bottle is also anti-slip! A perfect gift for the active loved one! Even Poppy the dog couldn’t contain her tail wags when it was her turn to take a sip.
Seattle Humane’s 2017 calendar is the perfect gift for the minimalist or practical special someone in your life! It’s versatile and affordable. It’s a year of cute photos featuring supporters’ pets and shelter alumni accompanied by heartwarming stories.
Put a smile on an expectant mom’s or little one’s face with this adorable onesie. I mean, who can resist? Not only are you honoring a new or upcoming little babe, but you’re also honoring his or her older furry siblings.
Bringing home a pet is a HUGE decision! Give your loved one the gift of adoption and time. The Seattle Humane gift certificate is valid for 1 year! This certificate also allows future adopters the time to thoughtfully search for their new family member, while also helping out with the financial commitment that comes with pet ownership. Plus, you can customize the value you’d like to contribute.
Get one at Seattle Humane – you choose the amount!
Visit our online store for more items to consider. Or, stop by Seattle Humane to see what’s on shelves – there’s lots of gift ideas for the furry babies in your life too!
Last, but not least, a big shout out to our pet loving community from some of our dedicated volunteers!
Thank you for helping save lives by choosing Seattle Humane as your gift stop!
It’s winter! And while some of us are SO excited to snuggle up next to the fireplace with a hot cup, our kitties are probably grumpily slouched giving us death stares. If your cat is anything like mine, he’s probably yowling at you too!
During the colder months, the indoor/outdoor kitty is starting to stay home more often. But the longer naps and stays at home can also induce some destructive feline cabin fever! From night-wakings, restlessness, and yowling – it can all cause some added stress to the home. To keep your feline friends happy, content, and stimulated. Check out our tips below:
1. Exhaust Them with Play Time
According to Cat Fancy contributor, Dr. Letrisa Miller, the average house-cat needs 30 mins of exercise daily. You can increase this and even double it for indoor/outdoor cats, and the more active exotic breed like Bengals, Maine Coons, and Savannah cats.
For indoor/outdoor cats, it may be hard to rouse their interest in your average cat wand. These cats are attracted to wildlife – birds, bugs, and small animals. This means you’ll have to find a toy that stimulates nature in its movements and sound. I highly recommend the Go Cat Da Purr-Peller!
This toy simulates bird flight with propelling feathers make a fluttering sound when you move it – guaranteed to drive even the pickiest of cats insane. Check out the video of my apathetic cat exhausted by 30 mins of straight back flips – he hasn’t been this excited about a toy since his kitten days! So far, it’s lasted us over 1 week of daily play!
Best of all, it’s cheap! Head on over to your local MudBay to see more GoCat products, or purchase it here.
2. Don’t Reward Bad Behavior with Play!
Does your cat sit directly in front of you and yowl while making eye contact? Or does he/she deliberately act out when bored? Resist the urge to stop whatever you’re doing and give them attention. This only teaches them that their bad behavior will lead to playtime or rewards.
Instead, wait until your cat is quiet and calm before initiating play! Waiting for good behavior before play will enforce good feline house manners.
3. Establish a Play Routine
Establishing a play routine will instill a sense of predictability for your kitty. It may also combat undesirable behavior since the cat is guaranteed stimulation daily. Remember that a typical housecat needs at least 30 minutess of play daily. Indoor/outdoor and active breeds will need close 45-60 minutes of play daily.
To keep your cat exercised, tired, and content during your absence or bedtime, play with your feline friend for 15-30 minutes in the morning before you leave for work, and again before you go to bed. If your cat is particularly active, you may also consider leaving an automatic toy while you’re away or asleep.
4. Keep Food Motivated, Sedentary, and Senior Cats Stimulated Too!