How to have happy dogs and cats in the winter cold
Summer’s gone, the heating’s back on and the days of heading out without a coat are over.
Just like you, your pet needs to adjust to the colder months of winter, so here’s a few ideas to make sure you have happy dogs or cats during the colder months.
If your dog or cat like to spend most of their time in the garden or roaming around outside in the summer, then be sure to keep them indoors when the temperature drops.
Cats in particular might not like this too much but it’s for their own good and they will soon get used to it.
Food and drink
Because staying warm takes up more energy, your pet’s appetite is likely to increase.
This is something you should be aware of but be careful not to overfeed. The likelihood is they’ll be doing less exercise in the winter, so there is a risk they will put on weight.
It’s important your dog or cat stays hydrated, so make sure any water bowls aren’t frozen. It’s also a good idea not to serve up ice-cold water, as it can lower the body temperature significantly.
I’ll get my (extra) coat
Dogs’ natural coats are usually enough to protect them from the cold but if you are going for a walk on a particularly cold day, then consider getting a jacket.
Shorthaired dogs will definitely feel the benefit and, if you choose a waterproof one, this will help prevent him or her getting a chill.
Walk this way
Try to avoid long walks during cold weather as neither of you is likely to enjoy this. Keep walks short and brisk to keep the blood flowing.
Three short walks a day is better than one long one during a cold snap.
Lookout for frostbite
Just like fingers and toes, pets’ paws are vulnerable to frostbite. Check your pets regularly during winter – particularly dogs after walks.
The telltale sign is firm or waxy skin and blisters.
Consider buying booties for your dog to wear on walks and keep fur close to the feet neat and tidy.