Around about autumn time we get a kick start into preparing ourselves to make winter more bearable- time to dust off the gas heater, stock up on fire wood, impulsively buy that woolly jacket and install a state of the art, super powered split system! For parents of fur children we’re also thinking of how we can help our pets cope with the impending chill.
So, how can you make winter more comfortable for your pet?…
There are many factors that contribute to how your pet will cope with winter time, including age, breed, body condition, health status, coat length and whether or not they can easily acclimatise to the environment.
Dogs with arthritis can find winter straight out painful, arthritis can be exacerbated by it. Senior pets commonly suffer from this condition however it can affect animals of any age. To help alleviate this disease provide plenty of warm, soft bedding raised from the floor- trampoline beds are perfect or if your pet is unable to physically get up onto one, a thick rubber mat will provide a barrier between their aching joints and the cold hard floor. We have medication available that can provide some relief to an achy pet. There are also food additives that can help with joint issues. If you have concerns that your pet may have arthritis- we CAN help, please call us today for a full assessment and treatment plan.
A doggy jacket is a great idea for the outdoor dog, shorter coat dogs, leaner dogs and the very young and old as they are more susceptible to the effects of the cold weather.
Keep their furry coats as long as possible and well groomed of course!
It’s so important you still get out and about with your pet-it’s very tempting to stay inside and go into a deep hibernation with your pet, it’s so hard not to succumb to a movie, snuggled by the fire, wrapped in a cosy blanket cuddling your pet!! Alright…. it’s ok sometimes however, remember this rule of thumb:
an active pet= healthy pet.
It’s important for their joints and muscles, especially in our older dogs. They may put on unnecessary kilos if an active lifestyle is not maintained throughout winter. Keeping your pet active will also provide a huge dose of mental stimulation for your pet. It’s too wet and cold outside? Not a problem- play a game with your dog indoors such as tug o’ war, fill a treat ball with healthy, low fat treats or if possible hide treats around your home for your pet to find- hide and seek!! Dietary requirements will also need to be altered if your pet is less active and spending most of it’s time indoors- if energy outgoing is less than energy ingoing their energy intake needs to be reduced.
Keep your pet indoors where possible on those bitterly cold evenings and days. If it’s not possible, provide shelter that is dry and draft free such as in a garage or a dog kennel, combine this with warm bedding and a dog jacket, this should provide just enough warmth your pet needs to get them through. There are even heated pet beds available!
It is actually possible for pets to suffer from hypothermia due to the freezing temperatures- elderly and any animals that are compromised are more susceptible- don’t risk it.
Always supervise pets around an open fire whether it be inside or out.
Does your yard or any area inside the home have a sun drenched area? See if it’s possible for your pet to access it – they would love to lay in the natural warmth- cats in particular love this!
Keep up the parasite prevention and protection- there are fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and heart worm all year round- It’s important that this is still maintained and the dreaded flea cycle remains broken.
We hope everyone enjoys the extra warm snuggles from your pets this winter.
If you have any questions or concerns please phone us on 4362 1644 and speak to our friendly staff.