You’re looking after your skin, you’re dressing warmly and you’re feeding yourself warming, comforting food, but you should also be looking after your pet in winter. Just as our bodies and minds need a different kind of care during the colder season, so do our pets'. It’s hard to motivate yourself to get out for a walk when it’s blowing a gale or the rain is lashing down, but Fido needs his fresh air and exercise regardless. Here are the main things to note for looking after your pet in winter.
1. Give Your Pet a Place to Get Dry
Part of looking after your pet in winter is predicting the things that human children would complain about. A child may get out of a bath and not dry him or herself without attendance or instruction. A pet will attempt to dry itself after being wet but may be unsuccessful. A dog is especially prone to being cold and wet in winter because a dog needs a place to get dry. Give all your pets a place to get dried off.
2. Diseases, Fleas, Mites and Ticks Still Exist in Winter
People do not inoculate their dogs, cats, rabbits, (etc) in winter because they do not think that disease exists in cold conditions. But, all of the summer ailments are just as common in winter. Add inoculations, flea repellents, etc, into your pet care in winter plans.
3. Frozen Water Kills Pets
This is especially true of pets that live outdoors. There are too many pets that die from frozen water bottles or frozen water dispensers in winter. Take care of your pet during winter by checking on them frequently to be sure they are able to get water. Many people lose chickens during the winter for this exact reason.
4. A Dog Needs a Coat and a Cat Needs to Come in
In winter, a dog that has short hair needs a coat. In Britain and some states in America you will find that it is illegal to take a short haired animal out in frosty weather without a coat on. It is also very cruel and uncomfortable for the dog. Your cat on the other hand needs to come in more often. They are little devils for getting wet by accident, and are very susceptible to becoming ill as a result.
5. Bring Your Pets Indoors or Beef up the Bedding Considerably
If you are looking after your pet in winter then you should be willing to take a little inconvenience. Bring your pets such as your rabbits and guinea pigs indoors during the winter season. All animals are susceptible to cold conditions, especially if they are domestic pets because they are not free to dig deep burrows or get warm amongst their own kind. If you truly cannot bring in your pets then put in far more bedding than they need, and change it often so that the moisture in the bottom cannot make your pet ill.
6. Exercise Results in a Healthy Immune System
When people think about pet care in winter, they often forget that an animal that is well exercised is far less likely to become ill. A healthy and fit animal is also more likely to survive illness than one that it not. It is often very cold during the winter months, but walking your dog is good for you too. Think about how your windows are rarely open because of the cold, and how little ventilation your house has. Your house will have more mites, more chemical breakdown and may even have more radon in it. Exercise in the cold weather is therefore good for you too.
7. Attention Lowers Stress and Keeps Your Animals Alive
Give your pets love and attention during the winter months and make sure you are checking up on them very often. They often become stressed more easily if they do not have enough attention, and are often more prone to dying of shock or the cold (neglect has many forms). So, give your pets love and attention during the winter months if you want them to survive and be healthy.
Looking after your pet in winter is not rocket science. In many ways it’s as simple as applying the rules you apply to yourself to your pets, and then some. The key point is to remember that pet care in winter needs a little thought! Do you change up your pet care routine when the seasons change?