With winter well and truly upon us and the wild, rainy nights and cold mornings becoming a regular event, it is certainly time to assess whether your pet's have appropriate protection from the elements. There are so many options for bedding, housing and rugging your pets there is something to suit every size, shape and lifestyle. As vets we are often asked how best to manage pets in winter, particularly our seniors!
Here are our top tips!
PLENTY OF FRESH CLEAN WATER
Pets still require plenty of fresh water in winter especially when they are spending time indoors as the heating can dehydrate them quickly. There are even great water fountains for cats that are particularly useful for those who prefer shower or toilet(!) water.
WARM COMFY BEDDING
Now is the time to reconsider where to house your pet overnight. If your pet sleeps outside, provide them with a warm place to sleep and rest utilising thicker bedding, warm jackets and even microwavable heat pillows if necessary.
REGULAR GROOMING AND BRUSHING
Don’t forget your pet still needs to be groomed during the winter months as well as the summer ones. Many pet parents leave their dogs and cats coats to grow long over winter in an attempt to keep them warm but this can lead to some skin problems, matting. Ensure that your pet is comfortable and continue to get them clipped to a manageable length.
What about Those OUtdoor warriors?
If your pet spends the majority of their time outside then proper outdoor housing and thick warm bedding is essential. There are a miriad of kennels for dogs and enclosures for cats that offer water, rain, frost and wind protection. Make sure the housing is placed out of the weather in a position where they feel secure and cosy.
Whether inside or outside make sure your pets bedding is raised off the floor and away from cold drafts including the door ways of kennels. Fill an outside kennel with warm dry blankets that are washed regularly.
Regular exercise when weather Permits!
Keep your pet warm and healthy during winter and prevent any extra kilos creeping on with plenty of exercise.
You'll probably notice your pet's appetite will increase during winter. This is especially true in outside pets that will use more energy to keep warm. Keep a close eye on your pet's weight ensuring they are nourished, but not overfed from too many winter snacks.
SENIOR PETS NEED SPECIAL CARE- "The Winter Chills make us Creak and ACHE!"
Older pets in particular are susceptible to chilly temperatures and you may notice reduced activity and more time spent by the heater. This may be a sign of the pain of osteoarthritis. We recommend six monthly senior pet checks and often offer money saving Senior Promos in winter.
Winter tips for the oldies:
Create a warm haven where your older pet can curl up and avoid draughty areas.
Elevate their bed off the cold floor, and provide extra bedding, Options are endless!.
Maintain your pet's health and fitness by providing regular low impact exercise
If you believe your pet is in pain, ask us for veterinary advice. Advancements in veterinary medicine make treatment of age related disease very effective.