Winter Blues and Your Pets

The clouds are moving in, the wind is chilly and there is a slight dampness in the air.

You can’t wait to get back inside to drink your favourite warm beverage and sit in front of the fire or heater. Winter has arrived and you’re not the only one feeling it.

Have you noticed that your pet’s behaviour changes in winter?

You’ll possibly notice your pet’s appetite will increase during winter. This is especially true in outside pets that will use more energy to keep warm. If your pet is especially energetic or active they may benefit from a small increase in their daily portion of food. But keep a close eye on their weight ensuring they are nourished, but not overfed! As always, check that your pet has an adequate supply of clean, fresh water.

It’s vital for us all to keep moving during the colder months. Get your pet warmed up and active by encouraging them to walk or play with you. There’s nothing like a brisk walk in the park or a game of chasing string to get the blood pumping. Not only will your furry buddy love you for it, you’ll be feeling fantastic in no time too!

If your pet spends the majority of their time outside, then proper outdoor housing is a must. There is a fantastic range of kennels for dogs and enclosures for cats that offer rain and wind protection. Make sure the housing is placed away from the seasonal elements in a position where they feel secure and cosy and fill it with warm dry blankets that are washed regularly.

Whether inside or outside, it’s important that your pet’s bedding is raised off the floor and away from cold drafts including the door way of kennels. Particularly cold winter days can be uncomfortable for slim, younger or older animals. Try placing a hot water bottle with warm water into your pet’s bedding. As a caution for pets who love to chew, only use warm water and if you have any doubts, there are other options available to help keep your pets warm.

You can also indulge your pet my making or buying warm clothing for them to wear. Cats don’t usually like jackets but short-haired or smaller dogs that lose body heat rapidly can benefit hugely from a jacket in winter.

If your pet is struggling to get out of bed then it may be a sign of osteoarthritis or an age related disease. Often these problems are provoked by cold weather and regular check ups are recommended, particularly if your pet is showing signs of aging.

Please give us a call if you have any concerns so we can ensure your pets remains warm, happy and healthy throughout the winter months.