How to Keep Your Pets Comfortable during Winter?
On the contrary to the popular misconception, your furry companions also need extra care to protect from the cold during winters, just like humans! When the chilly days can bring excitement and happiness in some pets such as German Shepherd, some pets especially cats feel discomfort and prefer to stay cosy under warm blankets. However, extreme cold can cause critical health problems to all the pets that could be life-threatening.
Health diseases such as Hypothermia are caused by extreme cold in which the pet’s body temperature reduces to below normal and causes their muscle to stiffen and heart rate to reduce, thus, resulting into a high risk of death. So, it is extremely important to take all the precautionary measures and take extra care to keep your pets healthy and comfortable during winters. Following are some of the important steps that you can take to make your pet comfortable and healthy during winter.
Dress them in Winter Apparel, because one coat of fur is not enough!
Although pets including dogs and cats have fur that protects them from certain weather conditions, it is not enough in winter. So, you can dress them in woolen jackets or sweaters to keep them warm in cold. Since exposed skin on nose, ears and paws are more susceptible to get affected due to cold, it is necessary that you dress them in appropriate apparel especially when outside. You can put on boots to protect their paws and even a cap if required. You can also avoid going outside immediately after giving them a bath since their wet fur can cause them to feel cold.
Spend Time in the Sun
When cats are happier inside, pets such as dogs enjoy outside. So, winters may not disrupt your cat’s routine but may cause unpleasantness in your dogs due to their limited outside time. Pets, mainly dogs, love to play outside. In fact, a little outdoor exercise/time is good for their health. When winters may not allow your dog to stay outside as frequently and as long, you can always make a point to take a walk and play with your dog when the sun is out, i.e. mornings and evenings. It will provide them with enough warmth and strength. It will not only give them their necessary playtime but also the sun rays will provide warmth to stay healthy and comfortable during winters.
Modify their Diet
You may not know all about their changing food needs as per the weather in which case you can consult their vet to understand which foods are more suitable to their breed. Yet, you can add in supplements in their foods gradually, to keep healthy in winters. There are chances of them being more energetic and expending more energy to keep warm or not active enough since they stay inside more. In this case, you can adjust their calories intake as per their activities. If you notice their skin to get dry, you can add a little coconut oil in their food to provide the extra moisture. Also, keep their water bowls full because just like humans, pets need to stay hydrated too. However, you must change it every two to three hours since it can get cold soon in winters and cold water can sting on their tongues.
Provide Warm Bedding
Although they may enjoy or prefer sleeping on the floor, sleeping on the cold floors during the winter nights can be unhealthy for your pets. In a warm bed, they will feel more comfortable during the winters. You can also get a raised bed so that the cold floor doesn’t affect them and make them sick. You can put a cosy blanket in their bed especially if they are cats since they seem to enjoy it the most. Also, if your dogs are more susceptible to cold, you can get a heated bed or put a warming pad under their bed so that they have a little extra heat in the chilly nights. However, it is recommended that you consult their vet once before using the heating products so that they do not do any harm to their health.
Feed them the Preventive Medicine
Though your vet must have provided vaccination on time, you can ask if any extra care is required before the winter starts. You can get a check-up done to ensure they are strong and healthy before the winter starts. If not, you can get your vet to provide preventive medicine, supplements, nutrition to keep them healthy and comfortable during winters. If your pets are very young or old, it is recommended that you visit the vet to check their immune system and strength so they stay away from any surprised health problems.
Common Signs to Watch out for
Your furry companion can’t express their pain verbally. When some may react or communicate visibly or audibly, some may not express until the pain or discomfort becomes severe. So, at times, we miss or misunderstand our pet’s serious health issues. They may change their behavior. Not remain as active or friendly as usual. Their changed behavior may be a sign of their discomfort. So, if you see changed behavior or the mentioned signs here, visit the doctor before it gets too late. Common signs observed in pets during winters include excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, lethargy, panting, etc.
All the pets including dogs, cats, birds, etc. feel cold in winters. To make their winter days as happy and exciting as the rest, take extra care of them and take all the necessary precautions to make the season enjoyable for them. You can take them for a health check-up before the winter starts and ensure their immune system is in check. You can also ask for preventive medicine to keep them comfortable when the temperature drops more than usual. Following the above-mentioned tips will help you keep your pet healthy, strong and comfortable in this winter.