Winter Warmers for your pets

Grooming:

- long haired pets need to be brushed regularly, the constant wet, dry of winter will cause mats to form quickly

- your dog may need to be washed more often due to rain, mud and puddles. Ensure the water is warm for their bath and that they are dried off completely. Do not leave your dog damp, remember what it feels like walking outside with damp hair on a cold day... now imagine that over your entire body.

- keep nails short, your pet may be exercising less and nails will not wear down as quickly

- if you've opted to clip your pet during winter, they must be kept inside or given a waterproof jacket and a warm, dry spot to shelter outside.

Fighting the cold:

- If your pet usually sleeps outdoors during the summer months, reconsider their bedding for winter and if they really do need to stay outside.

- If your pet must be outdoors, is their bed out of the wind and rain? Is it going to stay dry? Is it warm enough? Do they need a thicker bed or a blanket? Does your pet need a jacket? Nobody wants to have to brave the cold every night throughout winter.

- Consider your pets food. Indoor pets generally require less calories during the winter months as they tend to sleep more and play less as they snuggle up on the couch or on your bed. However, outdoor pets could need as much as a 30% increase in their food intake as staying warm requires much more energy. If your pet usually eats wet food, ensure it is at least room temperature, feeding your pet a cold meal will make their body have to work even harder to stay warm.

Fresh water 24/7:

- Just because it is winter, it does not mean your pets water requirements are any different. They will need access to fresh, clean water 24hours a day. If we are in a particularly cold period, or you live in an area where temps drop below zero, you need to ensure your pets water has not iced over.

Daily exercise:

- As the temperature drops and the rain increases we feel like getting out for a walk less and less, however your pet still needs to be exercised.

- Consider shorter walks, even just around the block.

- If it is pouring rain and you can't get out, try some indoor games. Tug-o-war, fetch or even some obedience training can be enough to help keep your dog, and your cat entertained when outside isn't an option.

Love and Attention:

- Our pets shower us with unconditional love, daily. Make sure you do your best to do the same! A good belly rub, a scratch behind the ear, a wrestle or game of tug-o-war for your dog, gentle pats, laser chase or pouncing games for your cat are possibly the best thing that happened in your pets day. (apart from dinner..)

- We need to remember that although we may have been working all day and just want to switch off, our pets live for the time we spend with them. Try turning your switch off time, into pet time.

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