Written by Dr. Shaw
Winter has well and truly announced itself in Australia the last couple of weeks. Now is the time to drag out the blankets and uggies, blow the summer dust off the heater and stock up on soup. But WAIT! What about our besties? It’s important to remember that our four legged friends are feeling it just as much as you are, too!
So how do we keep our furry family members warm in the winter? This week we talk to a vet to see how we can keep our fur kids warm and safe in these chilly months.
Coats and Jackets
Nothing’s as cute as a pug in a hoodie or a kitten in a beany for that fact too. However clothing for our pets isn’t just fashionable, it’s totally functional, especially for those little ones with shorter coats. There are so many options nowadays when it comes to coats, hats and jackets for our little or even big fur-family members. Follow the Swans? You can pick up the jersey online. Got a comical or political statement you live by (Pug Life)?
There’s at least 20 lines of accessories available that can fulfil the fashionista in even the most discerning of Dashies! But before we go full fur-crazy Dr Evan Shaw has some advice to make sure of so you little floof, is a comfy floof.
always make sure that your pet has ample space to breathe. You’d be surprised
how many pups have their jackets on a bit tight,” Dr Evan says. “Also, make
sure the coat itself can breathe and isn’t made from synthetic materials. Even
on a cool day, a doggie in a faux-leather jacket can get really uncomfortable
especially if they are in the sun. Remember that pups can’t sweat so watch the
is not too tight and doesn’t have dangling cords or buttons that can be easily swallowed or cause constriction,” Dr Evan says.
Cut the cut and hang up the hose.
A pet’s coat is basically a big fluffy parker. Shaving or clipping their coat is like taking a jumper off your own back, which is the last thing you want to do in winter. Dr Evan advises, “If you do need to clip and groom your pet, limit the clipping to the feet and muzzle and remember to bath them indoors with warm water. Blow dry them dry (or have a super extended towel wrestle!) before letting them back outside again. We all know the struggle of having to get out of the shower first thing in the morning so let make sure we’re all dry, warm and snuggly.”
Provide warm and dry shelter for your dog over winter
If you can, keeping your little buddies inside over the winter period is definitely ideal, however, it is understandable if your dog or cat is primarily an outdoor pet that changing their sleeping habits can be a bit tricky. Dr Evan says,” A kennel or box filled with blankets for your pooch or kitty will be welcomed when the frosty mornings hit and having a toasty bed under their own little roof to help escape the chill will make them super happy.”
If you’re lucky enough to live in a snow country (or you get some serious frosts), you may have to provide Ugg’s for your pugs. “Always remember to introduce these slowly! Boots are a foreign concept to most dogs and can sometimes take some time to get used to,” explains Dr Evan. “Some pups just don’t like it but remember, treats are your friend. Start with trying just one on one floor for 5 minutes then, over a week or so, introduce more shoes and for longer until your pup can almost lace their own.”
For the Oldies
For those of us that aren’t such spring chickens any more we have to keep a special eye out for them. With a range of inflammatory and arthritic conditions affecting older pets, active warming or medications becomes more necessary when it’s colder. Elderly pets suffer during the colder weather and may benefit from a visit to your local vet for a check-up if they are getting around a bit slower. A lot of medical conditions are exacerbated by the cold as it affect circulation, blood pressure and exercise.
We hope that with these tips, all our little buddies are toasty and dry this winter and remember one of the best ways to keep your pets (and you) warm is a great big cuddle in bed! So we say get huggin.
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