By Julie Dunmire
The Williamston Post
The weather outside is definitely frightful, with temperatures reaching into the negatives regularly this month.
While people are braving the cold with mittens, scarves and hats galore, pet owners may be concerned about their animal’s safety this winter.
Sales Manager Bailey Baughan at Joey’s Pet outfitters in Williamston says that there’s also a lot of options for your pets to keep them warm this winter.
Furry friends can wear Under Armour style gear, coats, and even boots according to Baughan.
Baughan says there are some signs to look for to tell if your pet is too cold.
“Obviously if they’re shivering, or lifting up their paws as if they’re uncomfortable, that’s when you want to be concerned and bring them inside,” said Baughan.
Pet owner Rod Ruse keeps his purebred boxer, Ruby, active by taking her into pet-friendly stores in the winter. Ruse says walks are a regular part of their routine in the summertime, but in the winter, they like to get out of the house by walking around stores.
“She gets a little bit of running in the house, but winters are bad. Summers, she gets a lot of walks.”
Since Ruby is a short-haired dog, with little hair on her stomach, Ruse says it’s especially difficult to keep her warm outside.
Things like keeping your pet’s paws in tip-top shape are important, according to the Williamston Animal Clinic’s website. Pet owners should wash their animals’ feet after coming inside, as the ice and snow can crack paws. Chemicals like sidewalk salt can also hurt and dry out paws.
Pet owners should also look out for frostbite on their furry friend’s nose, or even toenails.
Joey’s Pet Outfitter employee Brian Isanhart says that as far as indoor activities for pets go, it’s difficult for them to get exercise while inside. Keeping your dog stimulated with puzzle toys and treat-hiding toys can help them combat the winter blues.
However, Isanhart says there’s no replacement for getting up and being active with your pets.
“A short walk is good, just to get their heart rate up. Even if it’s just going around the block,” said Isanhart. “Most dogs, aside from small dogs, can handle the cold because they’re warm-blooded. I think a lot of people are too paranoid when it comes to being outside in the cold.”