How to Keep Pets Safe During Winter in Asheville

How to Keep Pets Safe During Winter in Asheville

Monday, 07 December 2020 11:47

Winter can really be a magical time in western North Carolina. Each year, our area sees about a foot of snow in the valleys, and much higher amounts in the high elevations around the Tennessee border.  We have already seen snow this winter with most of our area receiving a white Christmas. It probably will not be our last round of winter weather, so pet parents should take the proper precautions with their furry friends. There is a good chance they will have as much fun as you, as long as you follow a few important safety tips.


7 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During Winter

1) If You Are Cold, They Are Cold

The mercury only drops below freezing about 70 times annually in Asheville. Of course, some years there are any cold air masses that usher in more extreme temperatures; however, we remain relatively mild for a high elevation region. Nevertheless, your dogs and cats can get pretty chilly. It is important to make sure they have a warm place to be. Even if they are used to being outside for significant portions of the day, when the wind chill or air temperature is extremely cold, you need to give your pets a little more indoor time. You may also consider letting them supplement their fur with a sweater. If nothing else, it makes for a cute picture.

2) Remain Weather-Aware at All Times

What does it mean to be weather-aware? during the winter, and really any season, it is important to anticipate what kind of weather to expect. Having a weather app is good, but some snaps rely too heavily on one model or another. You can be more aware of types of whether to expect by following the tips:

  • Follow local meteorologists on social media. Jason Boyer and AshevilleWx Meteorologist Hunter Ward are good pages to follow for the forecast in your neighborhood.
  • Do not rely on the Weather Channel. While it can be helpful for a general sense of what the weather might be, it should not be your only source, because they are covering too wide of an area to be specific to western North Carolina.
  • Know your town and area. Weather in the mountains can be dramatically different with just a few hundred feet of elevation. Remember that the temperature in downtown Asheville may be warmer than at your house.

For pet parents in western North Carolina, being weather aware can help you make decisions for your dogs, cats, and other furry friends. You can know when to let them roam outdoors and Wynn to bring them inside.

3) Beware of Dry Skin

Our area is humid. We do live in the south, after all. During winter, the air is off and dryer than other parts of the year. That means that repeatedly going from the cold outdoors to the warm indoors can lead to itching, flaking, and dry skin for your pet. Watch out for excessive scratching, and path dry skin, especially for your dog. Consider using a humidifier in your home during winter to add some moisture to the air.

4) Beware of Chemicals and Hazards

Winter is a time when products might be around that your pests are not used to seeing. Antifreeze is especially lethal if consumed by your furry friend. If your dog is spending a little more time in the garage than usual, they could get curious. Make sure items are stored safely or use alternatives to some of the harmful chemicals for pets. Watch out also for space heaters, and other hazards that might be around during the season.

5) Avoid Baths and Cold Shaving 

Your pet’s coat is built to help keep them warm when the weather outside is frightful. This is not the season to shave it. Additionally, you want to make sure you do not save your dog only to send them out during a cold snap. 

6) Potentially Increase Food

If your pet spends a considerable amount of time outside, you might consider increasing their diet slightly. Your dog or cat may actually burn more calories and fat when it’s cold, in order to stay warm. Talk to your trusted veterinarian before making decisions about your pet’s diet. 

7) Schedule a Vet Wellness Checkup

It is always important to keep up with your pet’s wellness check-ups, and winter is a time of potential extremes. A trusted veterinarian can help you make decisions regarding your dog’s or cat’s health, diet, and tolerance for cold temperatures.

If you are in the south Asheville, Arden area or Asheville metro area, Avery Creek Pet Hospital is your trusted veterinarian. We love your furry friends like they’re our own family, and we love their parents, too. 

We have been treating pets in western North Carolina for many years and seen many winters. If you want more information about our office or are ready to schedule a visit, contact us today.