Updated: Jun 23
Keep your pets warm and cosy this winter. When The temperature drops and you find yourself reaching for your scarf and coat, remember your pet may feel the cold too.
Dogs, cats and even your pet rabbit can be affected by the cold. Your short haired pets feel it more than longer haired thicker coated pets who are more resistant to cold but no pet, regardless of a heavier coat, should be left outside for long periods of time in cold weather. The cold can pose a serious threat to your pets’ health.
What can you do to keep your pet cosy, toasty and in good health this winter?
Firstly, you will need to consider their age, type of coat, activity levels and existing health conditions as these all influence the way your pet copes with cold weather.
Senior Pets may have existing health conditions such as arthritis, which can be aggravated by the cold. Older pets tend to less active, or have a slower metabolism making them susceptible to becoming colder quicker. It’s important to remember that all senior pets are more susceptible to suffer in the cold.
Book your pet in for a senior pet check and let us advise you on improving your dog’s quality of life through this tough time of year.
Puppies and Kittens
It goes without saying that all baby animals need to be kept warm during colder weather.
Thicker coated pets have a higher tolerance to cold, some may even thrive, but your leaner and shorter coated pets like an Africanis is going to feel the cold far more than a German Shephard or a Malamute.
Jerseys and jackets are a must in winter If your pet is shorthaired or feels the cold, invest in a dog jacket or jersey to keep them warm. Make sure the jacket covers your dogs’ belly to keep the heat in. There are plenty of hip styles, colours and sizes to choose from to keep your pet not only warm but looking stylish.
Avoid trimming, clipping or over grooming your pets coat, as this can leave you pet without their natural defence against colder temperatures.
Avoid bathing your pet when it is cold. There are waterless shampoos and wipes available that will help you keep your pet clean instead of a bathing.
Even if it is cold out, your dog will need to exercise. Wrap up and head out. Consider taking two short walks with your dog to keep activity levels up rather than one long walk. Walk when the sun is up and it’s warmer rather than first thing in the morning. If it is frosty out, there are plenty of doggy booties available to protect your pooches’ pads.
Ensure your pet has a warm place to sleep:
Many South African dogs sleep outside if not by choice but necessity. It is crucial to make provision for them as night-time temperatures drop. Ensure they have access to shelter from the wind and rain. Place their kennels with the back to the prevailing wind and most importantly ensure their beds are padded and warm.
Add extra blankets to bedding or invest in a trampoline bed which is ideal as it will raise your pet off cold floors
Remember to place beds out of drafts
Feed a little extra, but not too much as you don’t want your pet to become overweight
Metal water bowls can become very cold and unappealing, a dash
Consider investing in a heated pad If you have an older, or arthritic or young pet, for extra comfort
Use microwaveable bean bags wrapped up in blankets for added warmth
If you have put your dog and temperatures start to fall, don’t forget to bring them in
Cats being creatures of comfort will tend to stay indoors when it is cold, either taking over the couch, lying in a sun puddle or catching rays in the window but if you have feral cats in your neighbourhood always check the wheels of your car as they are cosy sleeping spot for cold cats.
Add extra bedding to rabbit hutches for the bunnies to burrow into
Block off any drafts in their hutch with rolled up newspaper, if the front of the hutch is meshed consider covering half the front with a blanket.
~Did you know that there are over 300 words for love in canine~