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Top Tips for Pet Care in Winter
Tuesday January 12th 2016
Adjust their diet to suit the winter lifestyle and routine
During the winter it is likely that your dog will attempt to conserve energy by sleeping more. This, combined with a reduced level of exercise due to the cold, could cause your dog to become overweight in the winter months, especially if you continue to feed them the same amount as you were in the summer. Adjust their diet according to how much exercise they’re receiving on a daily basis and they’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight.
Be aware of the risks of anti-freeze
Anti-freeze contains chemicals which are highly poisonous to dogs, and unfortunately, they are often attracted to its sweet taste. Always ensure you clean up any spills you make whilst using this product and try to keep an eye on your dog when around vehicles, as other people may not have been so careful. If you do notice you’re dog starting to convulse or acting as though its “drunk”, seek a vet’s attention immediately.
Protect your dog’s paws
The salt used to grit the roads and pavements during winter months can actually be quite harmful to your dog’s paws and may cause them a lot of discomfort if ignored. A simple way to avoid this is to apply a thin coat of balm or Vaseline to their paws before you take them out. Another method is to equip them with dog booties; this will not only protect your dog from the salt but also help keep them warm.
Protect them from the cold
Some breeds of dog are very well suited for the cold weather, but others may need a little extra help if they’re going to brave the cold. Particularly for dogs with short fur, older dogs and dogs suffering from illnesses, a coat can help provide the encouragement they need to get outside in the harsh winter weather to get the exercise they greatly need.
Always check your car before driving
During the colder months, cats will often seek warm places to sleep outside and unfortunately, one place they find particularly appealing is underneath the hood of cars where they can curl up on the warm motor. This is obviously very dangerous for them when you go to start the engine, so always make sure to tap the hood of the car to wake any snoozing cats that could be hiding in there before you drive.
Microchip your wandering cat
As cats will so often be drawn to warmer places during the winter, it can be a good idea to have a microchip placed on them, just in case they go wandering too far in their search for warmth. This is a simple process and will allow you to have a worry-free winter knowing that if your cat does stray too far it can be traced back to your home.
Rabbits and Guinee Pigs
Positioning their hutch against the winter elements
For those animals which you keep outside, such as rabbits and Guinee pigs, it’s important to position their hutches in the optimum direction so that the wind, rain and even snow cannot blow in. If this isn’t possible, try finding a garage or a spare room in the house to keep them in, even if it’s just for the winter.
Regularly check their water supply
During winter, it’s common in an outdoor hutch for the ball their water bottle to become frozen and this makes it difficult for them to consume the amount of water that they need. Be sure to regularly check the ball of the water bottle and keep it moving to ensure it’s not frozen so that they have access to water.
Cooling your horse after exercise
After you’ve exercised your horse, it may have some trouble reacclimatising to the cold temperatures if it’s left to cool down immediately. Make sure you get your horse to walk around for a while after they have exercised in order to cool them down slowly and stop them from losing heat from their bodies too quickly.
Pay close attention to the amount of grass available for grazing
When grass to graze on becomes sparse during winter, horses will often attempt to venture outside the set boundaries of their field to find additional food, this can be very dangerous. Be sure to make frequent checks that your fencing is secure to prevent this from happening. If there is a real lack of grass in the field then additional hay and feed should be provided to make up for the shortage.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers Pet Insurance. Visit us online at http://www.helpucover.co.uk