The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder and the weather is getting bleak. That’s right Winter is almost here. During the colder months you find yourself reaching for an extra blanket or turning on the heater, but what about your pets. Many pets will feel the cold weather just as much as their owners.
How much your pets feel the cold can depend on a number of factors like age, size, body condition, breed and coat type. Generally as animals get older they feel the cold a lot more than in their younger years. Animals that are in poor condition or without a lot of body fat are going to feel the cold more than the animals with a lot of fatty insulation. Pets with a single layered coat will also feel more chilly than those with a thick double coat.
It is very important to keep your pets warm during cold weather to avoid such illnesses as colds, flu’s and pneumonia developing. The cold weather also aggravates arthritis and joint health problems in animals, which can make animals stiffer, slower and in more pain. During cold periods it is also common for animals to drop off in weight. This is because they are requiring more energy to stay warm and therefore are burning more calories then in the summer months.
So if you think your pets might feel the cold here are some top tips to help keep them 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 Hound House Collapsible Kennel is very 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, like Comfey Pet Small Animal Woodshavings, as bedding to keep them warm. Caged birds can be given a hutch or nest that they can sit in, like the Pollys Love Nest.
* 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 including vests, rug and jumpers with many styles and sizes 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 like the Passwell Cosy Heat Pad or the Snugglesafe Microwave Heat Pad which dogs and cats love.
* Keeping your dogs feet warm using socks like Non Slip Dog Socks, will keep them warm as dogs loose most of their body heat through the pads of their feet and their tongue.
* Don’t forget your fish – provide them with a heater or a heating 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. This will provide them with extra calories so that they have extra energy to use to warm themselves.
Follow these tips to keep your pets warm this winter but also remember the best way to warm their hearts is with lots of play time, treats, cuddles and kisses.
Until next time,