Hibernation season is upon us! As the temperature outside is dropping, all we can think about is getting cosy with our favourite winter blanket, a nice cup of tea and staying as close to the heater as possible. With the shorter days, the last thing we want to do when getting home after a long day is going back outside into the cold weather. This is a common condition called Winter Blues, and it can develop in our furry family members as well. So, how can we keep our pets safe and happy during this time?
The power of a wheat bag
On the colder winter days, if you find yourself putting on your thermals or an extra pair of socks, it might be a good idea to add some warmth or padding on the floor to your pet’s bed or kennel. An extra blanket will work a treat. If you really want to keep them warm and cosy, we recommend placing a warm wheat bag in with them to keep them warm as well. Check the temperature before placing it in the kennel to ensure it is not too hot. There are a number of other similar options available such as heating discs and pads. Ask our team for some suggestions at your next appointment.
Keeping warm and secure
Outside and indoor pets need proper bedding all the time, especially during winter. Always ensure your pets bedding is raised off the floor, with a mat or cushioned bed, and away from any cold drafts. Pets who spend most of the time outdoors need appropriate housing. To fight the rain, hail, frost and harsh winds, there are a range of wonderful kennels for dogs and enclosures for cats. When you are setting up their outdoor home, make sure their housing is away from the seasonal elements and in a secure place where they will feel safe and warm. You can also fill the outside of their kennel with freshly cleaned, warm, dry blankets to create that extra bit of heat. Consider a pheromone diffuser such as Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats. This will help them feel happier and more secure in their bed.
Fight the cold; it’s walk time!
A great way to feel good and fight the winter blues is to get outside for a walk in the park. If you’re putting on a jumper and jacket, then we recommend getting a warm and woolly coat out for your furry friend. Rug up together and embark on your walk!
Awkward movements and extra stretching
If you start to notice that your pet is having a difficult time getting out of bed, then this could be a sign of arthritis or an age-related disease. Often your pet will find it harder to move in the winter months as the cold weather can provoke these conditions. Therefore, we recommend 6 monthly check-ups especially when you notice these changes in their behaviour.
TLC tips for older pets
- Make sure your pet has a designated space in the house or their kennel, where they can stay warm.
- With the help of necessary heating products, ensure their bed is cosy with thick, warm bedding.
- Elevate their bed off the cold floor through the use of extra blankets, cushions or a mat.
- Keep going for regular walks (20-minute walks on level ground) to maintain your pet’s joint mobility.
If you believe your pet is in pain, or just “slowing down”, please contact us to make an appointment. There are many options for treatments that can help your furry family member stay active, healthy, happy and free from any pain.