Top tips for caring for your pet this winter
As temperatures drop and we start to feel the cold remember that our pets will feel it too.
We’ve provided you with some handy tips to keep your pets happy this winter.
- Towel dry straight after walks – make sure you don’t forget to dry in between their toes!
- Wipe paws after going outside – de-icer can be harmful to dogs and they often pick this up on their paws.
- Avoid frozen ponds and lakes – these look like normal terrain to dogs and therefore it is advisable to keep them on a lead.
- Buy a canine coat – smaller breeds or breeds with shorter hair may benefit from a coat in the winter. If you notice your dog shivering while out on a walk then it’s definitely time for a coat! Investing in a hi-vis coat will also prove useful if it becomes foggy.
- Reduce haircuts – Having their hair cut removes the waterproof layer on top of the fur. It takes some time for this to become waterproof again. It may be advisable to provide a waterproof jacket for your dog when they are freshly cut.
- Have more indoor play time – if temperatures get really cold, it may be time to increase activities indoors. Playing with your dog and hiding treats around the home can all help to increase stimulation and reduce the need for outdoor activity time.
- Keep cats indoors – when temperatures plummet it may be advisable to keep your cat indoors, particularly at night. If you do continue to let your cat out as usual make sure they have shelter if needed – either in the house via a cat flap or in an outdoor shelter.
- Provide a litter tray – even if you keep your cat’s routine the same, there may be times in the winter month when they don’t want to go outside, just like us. Provide a litter tray to make sure they aren’t holding their bladder and causing urinal issues.
- Check warm appliances – Cats like to curl up somewhere warm so make sure to check washing machines, tumble dryers and cars before turning them on.
- Keep antifreeze out of reach – it’s poisonous to cats but tastes sweet and is therefore tempting to drink!
- Consider moving them inside – a shed or unused garage would provide extra shelter and protection if you don’t want to move them into the house. This change will make the most difference to your pet at winter and should be done where at all possible, particularly as temperatures hit freezing.
- Provide extra bedding – give them somewhere to snuggle up when it gets cold.
- Raise the hutch off the ground – this makes sure it doesn’t get too cold and damp. It also provides more of a deterrent to predators.
- Check that their drinking water hasn’t frozen
- Shelter the hutch from the wind – putting a blanket or waterproof cover over the front of the hutch can dramatically reduce the cold.
- Offer them plenty of food – they will use lots of energy to stay warm in the cold so make sure they have enough food for these extra energy needs.
Indoor small furries
- Keep the cage in a draft-free area – preferably away from windows.
- Beware of moving cages close to radiators – they can suffer from heat stress and become very ill if they overheat.
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