01 Jun Winter warmers – Tips for pet owners during the colder months
Winter to you might mean cosy jackets and beanies, lighting up the fireplace, hot soup and snuggling under a pile of blankets. We do all this to keep warm right? So what about our pets? Unfortunately, they can’t tell us how they are feeling so it’s our job to make sure they feel as comfortable as we doing during the colder months.
How do I make sure my pet is kept warm?
- A warm, soft bed is essential. Keep it slightly elevated to avoid the cold ground seeping through. For dogs, provide an extra blanket for them to crawl under. For cats, they love sunning themselves so perhaps find a sunny spot near a window to place their bed.
- Finding your pet a warm coat to pop on will do wonders, especially if they don’t have the protection of a naturally thick coat.
- Allow your pet to stay indoors, particularly at night, or provide them access to a cosy indoor area. For guinea pig owners, move their hutch inside or into an enclosed space such as the garage or shed.
- For small pocket pets, provide extra straw for burrowing under.
- Keep everyone’s blood pumping by going for a brisk walk (don’t forget their pet-coat!) Or play lots of indoor/outdoor games. You will all feel better for it!
Care for senior pets
When the temperature drops, older cats and dogs can struggle with sore, stiff and swollen joints. Arthritis is very manageable with a variety of treatments available to suit your pet’s needs. We recommend coming into the clinic to see one of our friendly vets if you are concerned about any of the following in your pet:
- Struggling to get up
- Walking slower than usual
- Difficulty walking up and down stairs
- Sleeping in different, easier to access areas
- Reduced interest in walks, play or interaction with people and other animals
- Reluctance or refusal to jump up or down. Cats might start jumping only to lower surfaces than previously.
- Change in urinating behaviours, such as unable to squat, not wanting to get up and go outside to urinate, or in cats -difficulty using the litter tray.
- Over grooming of painful joints
- Cats may stop grooming altogether and form a matted coat.
- Increased time resting and sleeping
- Change in temperament such as more irritable and grumpy