Winter is Here - Pet Care in the Cold Months

Winter is here and just like us our pets may need extra love and care in the cooler months. We mentioned last year that your pets genetic make-up, breed and ancestry may determine their need for extra care. As well as the size and age of you dog or cat. If you haven't read these blogs you can see them below...

Just like us our pets adjust to different months and you may notice behaviours change. Fawn_cat_on_cold_Stone_SmittenPetsOne of the first things you may notice about your pet in winter is a change in food consumption. This can differ depending if your pet is mostly indoors or out.

A pet predominantly outdoors will eat more and likely beg more. This is absolutely normal - physiologically it takes your cat or dog more energy to keep warm in winter than it does to cool in warmer months. So if your pet appears to be hungry (your pet probably has a specific way of telling you) feeding them 5% or 10% more of their own food. Make sure you keep an eye on their weight. Remember you should be able to run your hands down their sides and just feel their ribs - if you can't reduce your pets food.

Fawn_Pug_in_bed_head_on_pillow_SmittenPetsA pet predominantly indoors doesn't use as much energy keeping warm, however they tend to slow down, conserving energy and sleeping more. Another common occurrence we see is that in winter pets go outside or on walks with their owners less. To ensure your indoor pet is happy and healthy during the cooler months you might want to consider feeding slightly less food. Start with 5% less and monitor, adjusting accordingly.

In summer we mentioned that the location of your pets bed can have an impact on their comfort in warm weather. Well, the same is true in winter. Tiles, cement and wood hold cold temperates well, which is unpleasant for humans underfoot and the same is true for cats and dogs, but imagine having to sleep on that?! Make sure your pet has a good quality cat or dog bed. If it's not on carpet or raised off the ground it should have ample padding. If it is a bean bag replace some of the beans and if it's foam and has seen better days, winter is a great time to replace it.

Where the bed is placed is also important. Here's a quick experiment. Go over to the window and place your hand on it. You will notice it is cool to touch. Windows retain the cooler temperatures so if your pooch or moggy are sleeping by a glass window or door they will feel it. Windows, doors and cracks are also places where drafts are often present. So have a feel around, your pets comfort may be only a meter or two away.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Also as mentioned before if you missed earlier winter blogs you can check them out here.
Winter is coming - breed, genetics and ancestry impact on need for extra warmth
Winter is coming - how size and age can effect your pets comfort in winter

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