Fortunately, our pets don’t have the ability to complain as much as us. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t impacted by the sudden shift in season. Thankfully, by making a couple of simple changes in their routine we can make the winter months far more bearable for our furry friends. No puffer jackets though!
Any Victorian knows that winter can get pretty brutal here. Especially at nighttime when temperatures drop below zero in some parts of the state. The most important thing you can do for any animal is to bring them in your home on these extra cold days.
For dogs and cats, make them extra cosy with a soft, new bed or blanket. If your pooch is determined to sleep or spend time outside, make sure they have adequate shelter, such as a closed kennel, which keeps them protected from the wind and rain.
Guinea pigs and rabbits must be brought inside during the cold months. Being so small, their body temperature can drop very low during winter. Leaving them outside in the cold weather is terribly dangerous.
Many dogs and cats develop additional fur over winter to keep them warm. It’s important to groom and brush them regularly to stimulate circulation, promote skin health and reduce shedding – keeping your carpets fur free! It also helps prevent matting and knots, which long haired animals can be especially prone to in wintertime.
Just like us humans who comfort eat in winter, animals need a little extra food during cold weather too! It takes more energy to regular animals’ body temperature in the cold so consider increasing their food intake. This decision should be done in consultation with your vet as you don’t want to accidentally overfeed them. Your pet must maintain a healthy weight to live a long and happy life.
If your dog is a little greedy, you might want to consider treat feeders. These are fun puzzles that provide exercise and mental stimulation to your pet while trying to get their paws on the reward.
Water is still essential during winter, however if you live in a particularly cold climate you may want to consider putting out multiple water sources in case one freezes over.
For small animals and cats, exercise routines should stay fairly similar in winter. And for dogs, walks remain an important part of daily their physical activity. We know it can be tempting to reduce the amount of walks when it’s cold and dark outside!
For some added warmth, consider investing in a dog jacket. However if you dog appears to be uncomfortable in a jacket, this might not be the right decision for them.
If it’s raining there are lots of indoor exercise activities you can do with your pooch, such as trick training, hide and seek or organizing a doggy playdate.
If you pet suffers from arthritis, you will know that it can be harder to manager in the colder months. Speak with your vet about your options for managing this condition.