With winter announcing its presence with some chilly mornings, we are really starting to feel it. It’s important to remember that our four legged friends can get a bit chilly too! Whilst we can easily pop on a jumper, wack on our trusty Ugg boots or snuggle up to the fire, sometimes our furry friends are left in the cold (especially if they are ‘outside only’ dogs or cats).
So how do we keep our furry family members warm in the winter? Animal Emergency Services have come up with our favourite ways to keep our fur kids warm and safe in these chilly months.
- Coats and Jackets
Nothing warms our hearts faster than seeing a little puppy or kitten in a super-cute jumper. In reality, they provide some much needed warmth (particularly for our short coated friends)! There are so many options nowadays when it comes to coats and jackets for our little or even big fur-family members. Have a favourite football team? There’s a dog jacket for that! Want to make a witty comical statement? There’s a cat jacket for that! Just make sure that your pet has ample space to breathe, the coat is not too tight and doesn’t have dangling cords or buttons that can be easily swallowed or cause constriction.
- Avoid excessive grooming in winter
A pet’s coat its main source of warmth. By avoiding shaving or clipping their coat in winter they are more capable of fighting off the winter chills. If you do need to clip and groom your pet, limit the clipping to the feet and muzzle. By brushing and de-shedding their coat daily, you’ll limit the amount of stray hairs around the house during the winter period. Also remember if you’re bathing your dog, to bath it indoors with warm water and blow dry them dry before letting them back outside again. We all know the struggle of having to get out of the shower first thing in the morning – the chills go right to our bones. Let’s not do this to our pets.
- Provide warm and dry shelter for your dog over winter
Keeping your dog and cats inside over the winter period is definitely ideal, however, it is understandable if your dog or cat is primarily an outdoor pet that changing their sleeping habits can be a bit tricky. Alternatively, a kennel or enclosed area for your pooch or kitty will be welcomed when the frosty mornings hit and they have a warm bed under their own little roof to help escape the elements. There are various different styles of kennel or enclosure available on the market for easy purchase. These can be as simple or elaborate as your budget and pet desire – from fluffy igloo beds to heatpad beds and blankets. Alternatively why not even have a go at building one yourself? Bunnings have regular DIY classes that can help you knock over a dog kennel in little over an afternoon. Great for the pet, and can keep the kids entertained for the day. Double win!
- Provide snow booties
If you’re lucky enough, (or unlucky enough, depending on how you look at it) to live in an area of Australia that gets regular frost or even snow, you may have to provide snow booties for your beloved pooch. Always remember to introduce these slowly! Boots are a foreign concept to most dogs and can sometimes take some time to get used to.
Animal Emergency Service hopes that with these tips, all creatures great and small are warm and dry this winter. Special care must be taken for our golden oldie pets. With the pains of arthritis affecting older pets, active warming or medications becomes more necessary. Elderly pets suffer during the colder weather and may benefit from a visit to your local vet for a check-up.
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