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Pet care for winter

Winter can be tough on us, but it's not just us that need a little extra care during this season. Here are some tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy during the winter months!

As the weather gets a little drearier, it doesn’t just mean that it is time for us to rug up and stay warm, but our little furry friends will need some extra care as well. Here are a couple of tips for the pets that need a little more fur on their coats.

Cats and Dogs

• If your pet has a short coat, why not try a winter jacket for them? Ensure that the coat is fitted well so they are comfortable. They will stay cosy warm and also look adorable!
• If you're taking your dog out for a walk on a rainy day, make sure to use water proof gear to keep them from getting cold and wet.
• A slight increase in food intake can also be necessary, as keeping warm during the winter months can take a lot of energy. But also be careful not to over feed them!
• If it’s raining and your dog can't go outside. Why not organise a doggy play date with a friend? This way your dog still gets to socialise with other dogs and stay out of the rain.

Making sure your pet has a comfortable and safe area to sleep, can be hard if they are outdoor pets. This is especially hard during the harsh winter months, but with a couple of thick fleece fabrics and a dry spot that is under cover outside, their outdoor housing will be set for the cold days ahead. 

• If your pet usually sleeps outside, then make sure you have proper outdoor housing for them. Make sure the housing is placed in a spot that will keep your pet feeling safe and away from the rain. 
• Try elevating your pets’ bed off the cold floors, particularly hard surfaces. This will reduce the ability for heat to escape.
• If your pet is struggling to get out of bed, it could be a sign of arthritis or another age related disease. These problems can be provoked by cold weather and it is recommended to get them checked every 6 months. 
• Regular exercise will also help your pets’ joint mobility, 20 minute daily walks are recommended.

Rodents

Caring for rodents during this season can be especially difficult as their enclosures are generally very susceptible to the cold. It is very important to ensure that your pet’s home is waterproof, draught-proof and well-ventilated. Regularly check if the housing needs repairs, especially before winter arrives. Here are a couple of ways that we suggest that would make your pet’s winter season toasty warm: 

• Moving your pet’s home into a shed, outhouse or unused garage is a good way to help them keep warm. Make sure it is an unused garage as exhaust fumes are harmful to them. 
• Add some warm fabric to the walls inside your pet’s house to help them stay warm.  Make sure that this fabric is not accessible to your pet or that it is safe for them to chew on if they can reach it. 
• As for their bedding, dust-free hay and stray on top of layers of newspaper will both provide insulation and absorb moisture.