Top 10 Tips To Keep Your Pets Happy This Winter

June 22, 2011

Top 10 Tips To Keep Your Pets Happy And Comfortable This Winter

Winter brings its share of ills for dogs and the cold weather affects dogs in most of the same ways that it affects us. Pets can be struck down with tired muscles and even arthritis. Some dogs are more prone to weight gain during winter because they are generally exercised less. It’s also important to watch the usage of winter toxins like antifreeze or car radiator fluid as these contain ethylene glycol which can cause kidney failure.

Purina’s resident animal behaviourist, Dr Joanne Righetti, has provided her list of top tips to keep the winter woollies at bay this winter, and ensure Fido doesn’t freeze up!

1. Get active!

As winter sets in, it’s tempting to cuddle up indoors with your pets, but in actual fact, it’s better for your pet (and you!) to get moving. This is especially important for pets with arthritis as a regular program of gentle exercise during the colder months can actually help with joint health and mobility. Even playing indoors with toys will help get the heart pumping.

2. Seek the heat!

Cold nights can make the burden of arthritis just that little bit heavier, and you may find that your pet will seek out the warmest place in the house to keep comfortable. Keeping your pet warm with a nice warm coat, adding a few extra blankets to your pet’s bed for padding and warmth and ensuring your pet’s bed is raised off the ground in a draught-free location will assist in getting your furry friend through the cooler parts of the year in comfort.

3. Get rugged up!

There’s a wide variety of winter pet-wear available these days. PURINA WAGWEAR is designed to keep you dog warm and comfortable. Depending on where you live and your dog’s breed and age, their winter warmers might range from a light raincoat right up to a fleecy coat.

4. Get checked!

Just like us, pets are susceptible to the sniffles. Make sure your pet has a regular check up with your vet and gets any necessary medication for illnesses and ailments e.g. arthritis, that are likely to get worse over winter.

5. Be aware!

Pets will seek out the warmest part of the house, and this means keeping a close eye on your heaters. Open fires can be a hazard for pet’s getting too close – your pets’ coats are at risk with getting singed from sitting a little too close! Heaters can be easily knocked over by a boisterous puppy or a curious cat, so please be aware.

6. Feed me!

During winter, our food intake increases as we burn more calories to keep warm. The same thing happens to our pets, so if your puppy or kitten is especially energetic or active he or she may benefit from a small increase in their daily portion of food. However, don’t over indulge in the treats. An extra winter dessert sounds great for us, but won’t be good for your pet.

7. Watch the water!

This is particularly important for people living in areas experiencing extreme weather conditions. Ensure your pet has an adequate supply of water and, if you live in a very cold area, that it has not frozen therefore becoming inaccessible.

8. Flea frenzy!

Pets need to be treated for fleas all year round, as a heated home provides a breeding ground for these pesky insects. The winter chill does not guarantee flea protection, so treat them every month to ensure they remain protected year round.

9. Hide and seek!

Pets tend to cram themselves into the smallest nooks and crannies to escape the cold, and a favourite hiding spot is underneath a car close to a warm engine. Keep an eye out for roaming neighbourhood pets around your vehicle, and keep watch on your pets when they venture outside.

10. Love me!

Even pets can get depressed in winter, so keep them happy with plenty of love and cuddles, and give them some extra attention if their mood drops.

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