\\\ Pets In Winter
\\\ updated November 2021
How Do You Keep Your Pets Warm During Winter?
Keeping Pets Warm
Keeping Pets Warm At Winter
Pet care during the winter is mostly about keeping our 45 million or more UK pets in the ambient temperatures that best suit their species. During the summer we worry about keeping our pets cooler, during winter, warmer!
Our most popular pets are approximately the 12.5 million dogs, 12.5 million cats, and a million pet rabbits that live alongside us.
Cooler temperatures can have profound effects, the worst being hypothermia for dogs, when their temperature falls, muscles stiffen, and breathing and heart rate slows, potentially the dog can die. Frostbite is not unheard of when poor outdoor conditions prevail.
Similar can happen to cats that spend too much time outdoors and if you spot strays wandering around looking possibly for food and shelter, then it’s helpful to contact the rescue services to ensure they are cared for.
Outdoor rabbits need to be kept warm and there are various actions you can take to help them.
These pet feature pages are a collection of our topical blogs summarised together for your convenience and provide information, particularly for new pet owners to get familiar with the problems of owning pets during cold conditions.
How Do You Keep Dogs Warm?
Keep Dogs Warm
Some of the best tips to keep dogs warm by making dog walks shorter and best times to walk your pet providing them with a dog jacket to wear out on walks for extra warmth protection, towels ready to clean off their paws from salt used on gritted roads and paths that contain nasty chemicals and dog beds that are cosy.
Providing your pet with the best foods and keeping your pet’s body weight up during winter months to help keep them warm is a must which then can be adjusted in spring and summer months by careful attention to diets.
There’s often a misconception that Kennel Cough can be mistaken as a dog catching a cold. This is not true as dogs do not catch colds. Signs of runny nose, sneezing, and coughing are likely to be Kennel Cough so a call to the vet for the best advice is necessary.
How To Keep Your Cat Warm
Keep Cats Warm
Just like dogs, cats need to be warm during winter. Two-thirds of cats are feral with the opportunity to come and go as they please from our British homes. However, most do not appreciate the cold weather and head for the cosiest place in the house, sleeping most of the day.
Vets see more pet accidents in their surgeries during low-level weather due to motorists particularly not seeing animals by the side and crossing roads so limiting the hours of roaming can be an excellent idea by not letting your cat out once it’s getting dusk and providing a litter tray for them during winter months.
Cats that do go outside need to be taken care of when they return indoors, wiping them dry and keeping their paws free from any salt that may have been used to grit our paths and roads.
\\\ Pet Rabbits
How Do I Keep My Pet Rabbit Warm?
Keep Pet Rabbits Warm
Pet Rabbits that live outside have a tough time with the drop in temperatures in wintertime. It’s important to make repairs to their living conditions before the onset of bad weather during Autumn and prepare their hutches with extra layers of insulation helping to keep them warm.
More good quality dry bedding hay is a must to help prevent damp conditions inside and provide the best quality pellets afforded.
They need plenty of stretching and exercise to keep fit so their exercise pens should not be blocked off.
If possible, providing them with a sheltered space is better, or with a few moderations made, bringing them indoors.
Pet rabbits can suffer from depression if living on their own and without much interaction, so it’s even more important during winter months that rabbits have as much, if not more, human interaction even though it’s cold.
\\\ Pet Strays
Helping pet strays is a must whatever the weather. Winter needs are essential to keep the pet warm by providing temporary shelter with food and water.
You may then need to consider contacting the relevant authorities, charities, and veterinary practices to check if anyone has registered a missing pet, particularly if wearing its collar and ID tag. It may have been microchipped and veterinary practices, as can most dog wardens in the UK, have the equipment to read the microchip information and where the information has been kept up to date by the owner, be happily repatriated.
\\\ Pet Charities And Shelters
Charities And Shelters Need Winter Help
Charities need your help all year round, but particularly during the winter by providing handed-in stray pets with a warm shelter and food.
One way can be providing your good quality unwanted duvets, blankets, and towels which are used daily by the smaller local pet shelters and charities to help keep strays warm and dry.
If you have some then checking out your local pet charity by a ‘google’ or ‘yell’ search will provide you with details. You’ll need to give them a call or drop a message before turning up with supplies.
You can also advertise on the free social media platforms with a local listing to give away to a pet owner in need.
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