Winter time is the perfect time for pet owners to start thinking about what they need to ensure their pet stays happy and healthy during the cooler season.

Pets all need a little extra care and attention to keep them safe and happy during winter.

As the temperature drops, it’s vital pet owners find out what extra support their pet may need. Some dogs with thinner natural coats will benefit from an extra layer of warmth, like a jumper or coat for those cold winter walks
or if they spend a lot of their time outdoors.

Pets should also have the option to come indoors in winter and not spend too much time outdoors in the cold. Some pets are more physically prepared for the colder weather than others, for example a Husky will fare better in the cold than a Yorkshire Terrier. Pet owners should use their common sense and look out for the tell-tale signs of discomfort, including shaking, barking and whining – which could all be signs that your pet is too cold.

The colder it gets, the harder animals’ bodies need to work to fend off illnesses as they are expending more energy trying to stay warm.

If your pet has an underlying health condition, this is a particularly important time of year to go to the vets to get a regular health check-up. Detecting health problems early is crucial, to make sure your pet receives the best possible care.

Our Winter safety tips:

1. Warm winter wardrobe

Despite the change in weather, our furry friends still require regular daily exercise to keep in shape. A warm winter jumper or coat can keep them cosy on their winter walks and keep them snug throughout the day. Visit your local PETstock store for advice and sizing information for optimum comfort.

2. Blizzard-proof bedding

Your pet may spend more time lying down during the winter months, because just like us, the cold weather tends to slow them down to conserve energy and keep warm. Invest in a thicker, warmer bed in winter to make sure your pet has somewhere comfortable to lie down throughout the day and night. It’s important your pet has 24-hour access to a comfortable bed to call their own, so they know where their safe space to reside is.

3. Snug shelter!

All pets need a roof over their heads! If your pet tends to spend most of its time outside through the summer months, winter is the time to either allow your pet inside to keep warm or provide an adequate dog kennel or enclosed pen to protect them against the elements. Make sure they always have access to water, a warm and cosy bed and give them regular toilet breaks so they avoid accidents in their space.

4. Senior care suite

Older pets have more sensitive joints and when the temperature drops, these aches and pains can be much more painful and require more care and attention. Pet owners should be mindful of giving them regular exercise to keep their muscles supple and encourage blood circulation. You can visit your local PETstock VET for information on ways to manage their discomfort.

5. Regular vet checks

It’s a good idea to book in for a winter health check-up for your pet, because the cold weather can lower pets’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to health problems. Check-ups every six months are recommended to make sure any health problems are detected early and efficiently treated.

By Dr Emily Chan, PETstock VET

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