Top Cold Weather Tips for Pet Owners
Have you been feeling the cold lately? Then it’s likely your furry friend has been too! With winter fast approaching, here’s a few simple ways to keep your pet safe and warm.
Winter coats: While many cats and dogs have thick fur to keep them warm, when they’re outside or on a walk they will likely still benefit from extra winter coats – especially if they’re older or short-haired. Coats should be snug, but not so tight that they restrict your pet's movement or cause distress.
Bedding: Keep your pet’s bed away from drafts and elevated off cold surfaces and add some extra blankets or a heating pad. Avoid hot water bottles as dogs may be tempted to chew.
Shelter: If your pet spends a lot of time outside, appropriate shelter is essential to protect them from rain, frost and wind. Raise outdoor kennels off the ground to prevent flooding and add extra warm blankets. If your pet sleeps outside, you could consider bringing them indoors to sleep at night, somewhere warm and dry.
Food: Don’t be surprised if your pet is hungrier during the cooler months. Animals need more energy to keep their core body temperature regulated when it’s cold. Having said that, don’t overdo it, and chat to your vet for advice on how much to feed your furry friend.
Exercise: You best mate still needs exercise and boredom-busting stimulation. If it's raining, consider indoor games or a doggy playdate.
Heaters: Your pets will seek out sources of heat during colder weather. Be wary of your pets sitting too close to heaters or fires – they can fall asleep and end up with dried out skin or burns.
Senior care: Cold weather can be hard on older cats and dogs and can aggravate stiff joints with arthritis. Keep up a healthy exercise regime during winter – extra weight will only worsen joint pain. Dog walks should be no more than 20 minutes a day on even ground. We recommend pets go for 6 monthly check-ups to stay on top of any potential health issues.
And last but not least, remember, there’s nothing like lots of cuddles to keep winter blues away!