News & Advice

Not too cold, not too hot! Keeping your pets warm this winter

Jul 21, 2020 | Cats, Dogs, Pet Health

As winter progresses and the temperature drops we start to light our fires, turn on our heaters, bask in the warmth under our blankets, and drink our hot drinks. Our cats and dogs love to curl up next to us to soak up the warmth.

However some of our pets live outside where it isn’t so cozy! They receive some warmth and protection from their fur, but this is not enough! So how can we make winter more enjoyable for our outside pets? Providing suitable shelter away from the elements is the best way to do this.

Kennels should be well insulated, have a sloped roof, and an adequate drainage system. Kennels and beds should be raised off the ground, and placed in a sheltered area to avoid cold draughts. Winter bedding should be warm and cozy, if your pet is a blanket shredder you can staple carpet down on the kennel floor for extra padding and warmth. Remember to always use non-toxic materials.

Feeding a good quality food is important, as this will help to give your pet the energy they need to keep their body temperature up and not use fat reserves. Make sure fresh water is always available and is not frozen.

Another option is a pet coat, these come in many different sizes and styles. These provide the pet with an extra layer of warmth and protection, which is especially important for short haired dogs, older, or younger animals. Make sure you are washing the coat regularly to prevent a build up of bacteria. Once the temperature heats up take the coat off to prevent the animal getting too warm, and to help prevent skin irritation and dermatitis.

Our senior pets need extra care over the cooler months. They often have arthritis and/or joint pain, and the cold damp weather can worsen these conditions; if you see your pet slowing down, please talk to your vet about a treatment plan.

In their search for warmth animals can end up in some sticky situations! Cats are notorious for sleeping beneath a car or in the motor! Animals can also “hug” the heat a bit too much and end up overheating, or in severe cases scalding themselves, so you may need to put safeguards in place to prevent this happening. Also modern heat pumps blow out quite dry air so if your pet lazes in front of it they could develop corneal (eye) drying and secondary conjunctivitis as a result
When it comes to keeping your pet happy and healthy through the winter months there are a number of options available to you, if you need any advice ring the clinic, we are always happy to help!

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