Winter Pet Care

Dog walker with dog

\\\ Pets In Winter

Dog sleeping on a duvet

Keeping Pets Warm

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 20 million dogs, cats and 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 its helpful to contact the rescue services to ensure they are cared for.

Rabbits need to be kept warm outdoors and there are various actions you can take to help them.

Pet feature pages are a collection our topical blogs that have been posted, summarised together for your convenience.

This feature page provides information particularly for new pet owners to get familiar with the problems of owning pets during cold conditions.

\\\ Dogs

Keeping Dogs Warm

Keeping 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 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.

Best foods should be eaten and not reduced keeping your pets body weight up during winter months to help keep them warm which 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 is likely to be Kennel Cough so a call to the vet for best advice is necessary.

\\\ Cats

Keeping 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 them out once it’s getting dusk and to provide 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

Keeping Pet Rabbits Warm

Pet Rabbits that live outside have a tough time with the drop in temperatures 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 insultation helping to keep them warm.

More good quality dry bedding hay is a must to help prevent damp conditions inside as must as 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 it’s 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.

Charites Need Winter Help

PET CHECK BLOG Cat wrapped in a duvet

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 pet 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 platforms with a local listing to give away to a pet owner in need.

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