Keeping your pets warm during winter is essential for their health and comfort. It is very important to keep your pets warm to avoid such ailments as colds, flu or pneumonia from developing. The cold weather can also exasperate the symptoms of arthritis and joint health problems. Many animals will be slower to move, limp or appear to be in pain during the colder months, which is generally due to an underlying joint condition. During cold periods some animals may drop off in weight because they are requiring more energy to stay warm and therefore they are burning more calories then in the summer months. Thankfully there are things pet owners can do for their animals to keep them warm and ease the effects of the cooler weather.
Here are some top tips to help keep your pets warm this winter.
- Let them inside – where possible letting your pet come inside and sleep inside will offer them the best protection against the cold.
- Provide them with a protective shelter or kennel where they can escape from the weather. It should have three sides and a sloping roof. The HoundHouse Collapsible Kennel is a suitable dog kennel.
- Provide them with warm bedding. Give dogs and cats nice warm padded beds with lots of blankets. Small animals that live outside like chickens, guinea pigs or rabbits can be given straw or shavings as bedding to keep them warm. Caged birds can be given a hutch or nest that they can sit in.
- Make sure that their beds and/or kennel is placed in an area that is out of the direct elements and where possible that the wind does not blow straight into. This will protect them from some of the harsher weather.
- Dogs that need extra warmth can wear a dog rug or vest, which not only keep them warm but look really cute and fashionable. There are a wide range of rugs and vests available.
- Give them a heat pad that goes under there bedding for them to sleep on and keep them warm. There are a few heat pads available that dogs and cats love like the Snugglesafe Microwave Heat Pad.
- Exercise is also important during winter as it gets the circulation moving and helps keep joints from becoming stiffer.
- Provide extra feed if required or if animals drop off in weight. This will provide them with extra calorie so that they have extra energy to use to warm themselves.
- Don’t forget your fish – provide them with a heater to keep their tank warm.
- Special Note for Elderly Pets; Please be mindful of your elderly pets in the winter months as they will feel the cold more. They will need a little more attention and help to keep warm.
Follow these tips to keep your pets warm this winter but also remember the best way to warm their hearts is with lots of playtime, cuddles and kisses.
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Originally published in My Pet Magazine Winter 2016.
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