Keeping pets safe during winter months

June 1st, 2017

pet-insurance

As winter in Australia edges closer and closer, it is important to keep your pets safety in mind as the weather drops and the days shorten. Just like humans, as the weather becomes colder our pets also require more layers to keep them warm. Petplan will give you the tips to keep your pet happy and safe this winter…

How cold is too cold?

During the winter months, humans and animals alike tend to spend more time inside, eating more and lounging around. This is mainly due to the shorter days; however the cold also plays a huge factor. If your pet is an outside pet, how cold is too cold?

When it comes to dogs and being outside in the winter, how they deal with the cold will depend entirely on their breed. Many short haired breeds will not cope particularly well, and on the other hand long haired breeds have a thicker layer allowing them to enjoy the cold more. Some dogs, such as Huskies are built for cold days and thrive in temperatures below zero, however the general rule of thumb is that any weather cold enough for you to wear a jacket your dog should stay predominantly in doors.

Food

Dogs and cats naturally burn calories during winter as their bodies need extra energy to keep warm. This will require a little extra food during the colder months – this should be checked with your vet beforehand in order to not overfeed them. Not only is extra food thoroughly important, keeping your dog hydrated is a must. Just because it is cold doesn’t mean your pet stops needing water. Dry weather and constant heating around the house can quickly dry your pet out and they will require constant water access.

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Exercise

We can all think of better things in winter to do rather than going outside in the rainy, cold weather. However it is important to exercise your pet, especially dogs, during all times of the year. If your pet has especially short hair or thin bodies, an outside jacket may need to be purchased so they can enjoy their exercise without feeling the cold too much.

Outside pets

If your cat or dog predominantly live outside, it is important that they always have access to a shelter that is not only water proof, but wind proof as well. Try to place their shelter away from wind tunnels, raised off the ground so moisture does not get inside and keeps the area warmer.

Grooming

Grooming should not be forgotten in colder months, especially brushing your pet’s coat. By brushing their coat regularly, you are allowing to remove dead hair and keep their natural oils that not only rejuvenate their skin, but allow for the coats to flourish allowing for greater protection from the cold. Definitely do not shave your pet or cut their fur exceptionally short with winter approaching as this will leave them with little defence from the chilly winds.

There are many reasons why we should be keeping an eye on our pets during the colder months. The cold and damp weather can lead to joint pain, becoming unsettled as they can’t completely relax in the warmth, and are much more prone to illnesses. Keeping up with a normal routine and making sure the pet is protected from the weather outside is key to keeping them happy and healthy.

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