Hurricane Sandy wasn’t the best at Raja’s house, but it was disastrous in other parts of New Jersey and New York. Since climate change is a reality and since we can anticipate future challenges, Raja and I want to bark about home prep for pets in power outage cold weather conditions.
So… Let’s all do a little cold prep for our pets:
. Sweaters: Every small, thin or older dog needs a couple of fluffy, lofty sweaters. As we know for ourselves, fluffy sweaters trap air and are warmer. Put the sweater on in the house and keep it on until the pet doesn’t need it. (You might be thinking, “But he has fur to keep him warm.” Sure he does, but you have hair and yet wear a hat when it’s cold, right? And, I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you have no problem with canine winter apparel.)
. Fur Care: Do not leave a single sweater on for days at a time. Sweater fiber mats fur, reducing loft and reducing the natural warming properties of fur when neglected. Daily remove the sweater, comb and brush your pet’s fur gently and put on a different sweater. Keep alternating so one sweater doesn’t wear fur too much in the same places.
. Socks: No, we’re not being funny. Dogs lose heat through their paws on freezing floors. Little dog socks with slip free patches help, if your pet is compliant.
. Hats: Without a hat, Raja’s nose was icy cold. With a hat, his nose was appropriately cool. That’s all.
. Calories: A recent NYT article discussed the extra five pounds apartment grounded New Yorkers gained in the past two weeks. Dog physiology is different. When dogs worry, they do not binge eat. They mope. If you have a dog who is inclined to be thin, increase calories. Bulk supports warmth and chilling promotes weight loss.
. Exercise: Keep your dog’s spirits up and keep the blood pumping by playing in the house. Well, do what you can. When we exercise we feel happy and we warm up. You will too.
. Feet: While you can’t wash your dog when you have no hot water or power for a blow dryer, you can keep his feet clean. Wet feet make a cold dog colder; matted fur makes for less effective drying; dirt is unhealthy. Using a damp cloth and a dry towel, you can maintain those fluffy paws.
How did Raja do during the days of cold and no power?