Taking care of your cat and dog in winter

How to Keep Your Pets Comfortable During Winter

Ideally, during winter, all animals should live inside a shelter. A warm and cosy den wide enough to be comfortable during the cold weather. Winter is one of the best times we should be keeping an eye on our pets. Like their owners, dogs, cats, and other pets can feel the cold and may need help with their health. During the winter months, pets can usually become less active and may need an extra snuggle to keep them warm. Colder weather may mean more notable join stiffness in pets, and your dog may seem slower on walks or look stiff when getting up from their sleep. Again like their owners, it is a typical bed weather moment for them, but in their case, they need those joints warmed up. 

Below are a few steps to make sure they receive proper heat during winter:

Ways to keep them comfy:

 

  • If the weather is too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet too

Remember to keep your pets inside, especially overnight when temperatures drop, or else they might be in danger of getting hypothermia. If your pet manifests any of these signs, contact your vet immediately. Keep in mind that temperatures indoors can also drop rapidly. If you’re out, try to ensure temperatures in your home never drops below a suitable level (around 19C).

  • Read up on your pet’s breed

Just like human beings, some pets, such as husky dogs and Persian cats, are more forbearing to cold weather than others. Make sure you do your homework on your breed. For instance, Chihuahuas, Danes, and Great Dobermans require a little extra layer in the cold. Short-nosed pets are 

more at risk from high temperatures due to inherited breathing struggles.

  • Consider a jumper or coat

It’s a myth that dogs and cats are more immune than people to cold just because they have fur. Even long-haired pets are at risk in freezing weather. Think of putting a dry jumper on your pet before going outside and always take extra just in case they get wet. This shouldn’t be a problem if you start making use of jumpers from an early age.

  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and is microchipped

Pets have more chances to get lost and disoriented in foggy conditions. Ensure your dog or cat’s identification tag and microchip details are updated and relevant.

  • Be careful of heatstroke

Believe it or not, you have to watch out on short-nosed dogs – specifically, they are at risk of suffering heatstroke if they exercise strenuously in chilling temperatures and then settle in a warm house.

  • Feed your pets well

Pets who spend long periods outside may need more calories in the winter to produce enough energy to keep them warm – talk to your vet regarding your pet’s nutritional needs. However, do not overfeed them.

  • Ensure your pet has access to fresh water

It’s common sense, but you should check your pet’s water bowl consistently and fill it up whenever it’s low. Not many animals can survive for long without hydration, mostly in very high temperatures. It would be best if you also were careful not to let your pet’s water bowl freeze over.

  • Get ready for cold weather

If the weather forecasters anticipate an extreme cold snap or snow and blizzards, ensure you have a pet emergency plan in place. This includes storing up on food and any prescription medication, knowing who to call in times of difficulty, and how you might go to the vet in an emergency.

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