The Winter can be a risky time for animals, but with a few tips and precautions, you can winterize your pet to keep him safe and warm in the most frigid temperatures. Keeping your pet indoors may be the easiest solution, but your dog still needs his exercise, and your outdoor cat will want to keep her normal routine. Weathering Winter elements like snow, ice, and salt takes more than picking the trendiest pet parka; read on for a few simple and important safety tips for winterizing your pet.
If your pet must be kept outside:
- If your dog has an outdoor house, then make sure it's elevated and dry and preferably insulated so that drafts don't creep in. And, of course, furnish it with warm, comfortable bedding.
- Add a pet door to your garage so that he can have access to extra shelter, and provide him with a nice doggie bed in a clean, dry area. Also, make sure to keep poisonous chemicals like antifreeze and rodenticide out of his reach.
- Check periodically to make sure that your pet's water is not frozen, and use plastic bowls instead of metal ones, as your pet's tongue could freeze and stick to metal, à la Ralphie in A Christmas Story.
- This may sound crazy, but check under the hood of your car before you start the engine. Cats are known to seek shelter in car engines when temps are low. Usually banging the hood or honking the horn is enough to startle them out of their hiding places.
- Outdoor pets will require more calories in the Winter to produce body heat, so make sure to keep his food bowl more stocked than in the Summer.
For more tips on how to keep your pet safe in frigid temperatures, just keep reading.
If you and your pup find yourselves with time on your hands today, then celebrate and make it a play day! There are plenty of outdoor activities to take part in, even if Labor Day traditionally signals the end of Summer. Take a cue from one of these outside playdate ideas, or take your best friend on one of your favorite outings. Whatever your choice, get out and have some fun!
This Chow Chow looks ready to chow down or, at the very least, enjoys accompanying an owner for a coffee and snack at a sidewalk café. It's the perfect way to get some yums, and for a dog to enjoy the fresh air.A couple tips to keep in mind when heading out:
- Before You Leave: Although many pet-friendly establishments offer to-go dishes for a pet's water, it can't hurt to bring along your own portable bowls. Also, make sure I've got a non-Flexi leash and a bag (if your pet's small) to be able to secure him. I like to loop the leash around the leg of my chair 'cause I know my weight will keep him down. Remember to pack some to-go treats to prevent the temptation to give your dog any inappropriate human food.
- Before You Enter: Check with a hostess or server before you sit down! Just because it's outside, doesn't mean it's automatically OK. Be mindful of other diners – if it's a crowded patio, it may be better to go elsewhere.
Time to be seated! Learn what to do to help ensure a pleasant meal when you keep reading.
Spring is officially in the air, and weekends likely mean getting outdoors more, taking trips to the park, and of course, riding bikes. Add a little pizazz to your kids' two-wheelers this season with some of the best bike accessories on the market, and remind them, it doesn't have to be high-tech to be exciting!
The route I was climbing with Ffion [at Three Cliffs], there was no risk of any rock fall. I knew 100 percent it was safe. The person below me was very competent, I had a mountain climbing instructor there too and I'm pretty confident of my own competence. I was top-roping (which prevents a climber from falling down the cliff surface), which is very safe.
The babywearing advocate spends a significant amount of time blogging on her personal blog, Per Ardua Ad Alta, about her adventures, many of which include having her daughter riding on her back.
What do you think?
Source: Per Ardua Ad Alta
Impromptu games of fetch often use sticks as bait since there's no need to bring the toy to the park . . . or tote it home again. While I've advised to always choose a large enough branch, this one looks like the splinters could be dangerous.And, by the way, if you aren't into the wooden options, pick up one of these that never splinter instead.
Move the party outdoors this Summer! Space constraints are always an issue when planning a party for tots, but when the temperatures warm up, it's the perfect opportunity to make use of the great outdoors. The June issue of Martha Stewart Living is packed with warm weather recipe and party ideas, and Marcie McGoldrick, MSL editorial director of holiday and crafts, was eager to show us how to transform them for the kiddie set.
Since summer is the perfect time for gathering outdoors – we thought it would be fitting to include a family reunion story in our June issue. A "Grand Old Time" has a lot of great ideas for kids and parents alike. These ideas are not specific to a family reunion and would be great for any outdoor kids party you may be throwing.
For some light and easy Summer dishes inspired by the June issue, visit Busy Cooks at About.com and visit Examiner.com for some fun, adult-friendly Summer cocktails!
Photos by Francesco Lagnese. Copyright © 2011, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.
Between potty stops and smell breaks, you can end up short on exercise and long on time when walking a pooch! To help us out, I've rounded up the five categories I'd consider the top distractions for dogs. Check out the slideshow to see my tips for dealing with each type. Happy trails to you!