Winter Weather Tips
For your four and two legged friends.
1 - Keep your pets inside
This winter is looking to be a cold one with temperatures dropping to 0 degrees already! Pets with long and thick coats can keep themselves warm with their custom coats but short haired animals will struggle to regulate their temperatures.
Remember that any pet who is sick, or has been sick recently will feel the chill more so than healthy pets and geriatric pets and very young pets will also get colder more easily.
Birds who are kept outside with other birds will be able to huddle together for warmth but consider covering their cage with a tarp or blanket and maybe add some heat such as a safe heat lamp to give them the option to warm up themselves.
Most furred pets such as dogs, cats, ferrets, rats and rabbits have a core body temperature of around 38.5 degrees celcius so we need to make sure they have the ability to stay warm on chilly days.
2 - Give them options
Just like us, our pets have certain spots they love to occupy.
In winter these spots might not be the warmest so keep that in mind when reshuffling for winter. Having lots of soft and warm options for your pet around the house will help them to keep warm whilst not having to change their schedule too much.
For caged pets, such as ferrets and rats - try adding soft fleece hammocks on one side and extra substrate (kitty litter, shredded paper etc) on the other. Some days they may want to relax in a warm bed and others they may want to build a nest to keep cosy in. Offering options ensures your pets will not get bored and the warmer they are the less they are likely to feel still and sore just like we do.
For those pets who eat wet food - try warming it up in the microwave to give your pet a nice warm belly.
Remember for those pets who do suffer from arthritis and joint stiffness that jumping up onto high beds and lounges may not be comfortable during winter so these guys definitely need beds for them that are quite low to the ground while still being lifted from the floor.
3 - Custom coat time
Theres a huge market for pet clothing at the moment.
For some people, just the thought of dressing their pet up recieves an eye roll but keep in mind that when its cold one of the first things we humans do is rug up!
Not all pets will enjoy having a coat or a jacket on so its best to try and introduce it slowly to your animal. Letting them sniff and investigate the coat then putting it on for fun things like meal time can help them adjust to the idea.
Ensure there is a snug fit so the coat doesn't drag in the wet grass or trip them up but also make sure its not so tight that its constricting and uncomfortable.
Remember to give your pet some coat free time as the constant warmth creates a perfect environment for bacteria and those with skin conditons can have their symptoms worsened by a damp, warm jacket.
4 - Safety first
Winter and cold days can be a fun time for pet owners as it can offer slight relieve from nasties such as Paralysis Ticks, fleas and snakes.
Keep in mind that all of the above can still be active in winter, but less likely to be so - don't let your guard down completely.
Animals are more likely to be slow moving in Winter so accidents can be more common. Slippery roads and reduced vision in rain can lead to more road accidents so it is a good time to check your fence boundaries and ensure they are escape proof!
Underneath car bonnets and on top of tyres are a warm spot for cats to hide from the cold during winter, even if you don't own a cat, it won't hurt you to give your bonnet a good few bumps to wake up and scare off any lazy felines playing stowaway.
If you have any further questions about how to care for your pet during the colder months or would like some reccomendatons on winter products please give us a call on (02) 4959 5766 to discuss with our friendly team.