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Caring For Your Pets During Winter

Posted by Reedy Creek Vet on 15 June 2024
Caring For Your Pets During Winter

As the colder months settle in, many of us find comfort in snuggling up with warm blankets and cosy slippers. However, it's essential to remember that our furry friends also feel the effects of winter. Just like we take extra steps to stay comfortable, it's important to extend that same care to our pets. Here are some friendly tips to help you keep your pet happy and healthy during the winter season.

Providing Extra Care for Senior Pets

If you've noticed your senior pet struggling a bit more with daily activities or moving slower during walks, it's likely they're feeling the effects of colder temperatures. Just like us, older pets can experience discomfort from the drop in temperature, which can exacerbate stiffness and arthritis. It's essential to adapt their exercise routine accordingly to ensure their well-being during the winter months. Consider shorter walks, no more than 20 minutes a day, and focus on gentle exercises that promote circulation and cardiovascular health. Additionally, keeping an eye on your pet's weight is crucial, as extra pounds can intensify joint pain, especially in colder weather. By providing a little extra care and attention, you can help your senior pet stay comfortable and active throughout the winter.

Ensuring Warmth for Every Family Member

Just as we seek refuge indoors to escape the cold, it's important to prioritise the comfort and safety of our pets during the winter months. Exposure to harsh weather conditions can pose significant health risks to our furry companions, so providing them with adequate shelter is paramount. Consider these tips to create a cosy haven for your pet during winter:

  • Provide a warm, draft-free resting area elevated off cold surfaces.
  • Limit outdoor exposure for your pet, as they can be susceptible to hypothermia.
  • If outdoor time is necessary, ensure they have access to a sheltered kennel protected from wind and rain.
  • Supply plenty of warm bedding or blankets for added comfort.
  • For older pets or those with shorter fur, consider fitting them with a snug pet coat to help retain heat.
  • Keep cats indoors unless they have access to a secure outdoor enclosure.
  • Offer your dog a designated indoor sleeping area, such as a comfy bed in the laundry or a suitable crate.
  • When washing and grooming your pet, use warm water and consider using a dryer to prevent them from getting chilled with wet fur.
  • By taking these simple yet crucial steps, you can ensure that every member of your family, including your beloved pets, stays warm and safe throughout the winter season.

Prioritise Exercise Even in Cold Weather 

While the chilly temperatures may dampen our motivation to venture outdoors, maintaining regular exercise for your pet remains essential for their overall health and well-being throughout the year. Skipping exercise routines can predispose your dog to various health issues like diabetes and weight gain, or may lead to behavioural problems stemming from boredom. If the cold weather disrupts your daily walks, consider adjusting your schedule to incorporate exercise during the warmer parts of the day. If braving the cold isn't feasible, explore alternative indoor activities such as trick training or puzzle games to keep your pet mentally stimulated and content. Additionally, winter presents an opportune time to focus on teaching manners and obedience skills. Remember to use plenty of tasty treats during training sessions, and afterward, reward yourselves with a cosy cuddle session on the couch. By prioritising exercise and mental stimulation, you can ensure that your pet remains happy, healthy, and engaged, regardless of the weather outside.

Author:Reedy Creek Vet