Cats and dogs aren’t the only creatures we need to make sure we are looking after in the wintry weather. Check out our six big tips for small animals and make sure your pet is safe and warm during the cooler months.
Six big tips for caring for small animals this winter
1. Bring small animals inside
Small animals are particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures and sudden changes in temperature, so a warm winter’s day followed by a cold winter evening can be particularly problematic for our little friends. Protect them from sudden temperature drops overnight and bring them indoors where the temperature is more stable.
2. Create a spot that’s safe and warm
Providing a good shelter will not only ensure little ones feel safe, it will also give them a space that is warm. For rabbits and guinea pigs, provide fresh dry straw so that animals can burrow. In extreme weather, adding hay can also ensure your pet is getting enough food as well as enjoying the warmth that the hay provides.
3. Turn up the heat
As well as providing a good shelter, you can up your heat game by providing animals with a pet-safe heat pad to keep them super toasty.
4. Seek out veterinary advice
Arthritis and old injuries are often exacerbated by cold weather, so keep an eye on your pet to see if they are displaying any pain or stiffness in their joints. Checking in with your vet with any concerns is essential so you can rest easy knowing your animal is happy and healthy.
5. Give them room to move
Pets brought indoors will still need lots of time and room to exercise safely. Giving them space to run, jump, stand upright and express normal behaviours will not only keep them in shape, it will also keep their minds busy.
6. Find your pet a furry friend
Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats and ferrets are all social creatures, so making sure they have a companion will help them thrive. Avoid housing undesexed males together to minimise fighting, and also avoid housing undesexed males and females together so you’re not faced with an unexpected litter.