The chilly season is coming and if we feel the cold, our pets will too so I want to give
you a few ideas on how to make sure your pets don’t suffer cold related ailments
through the winter.
It is fairly obvious to say it but some breeds will feel the cold more than others. If your
furry friend is a husky, well, not too much to worry about as far as getting ready for a
However, there are many breeds with very short hair or none at all that will need some
extra attention as the weather cools off.
Cats do develop winter coats-at least some do! Nevertheless they love to have a jacket for those cold nights.
Our Luxurious Lady Luna and not so hairy Austin the Sphinx.
Kennels and Beds
If your dog is an outdoor pet, shelter is vital along with a “trampoline bed” or thick
bedding to keep up off the cold ground. Dogs love their kennels as much as we love
our homes so treat them to their own space and furnish it with a blanket. If you know
the night is gong to be particularly bitter, pop a hot water bottle (with a cover) into the
corner :) If your dog starts whining, shivering or appears anxious, or he stops playing and
seems to be looking for places to burrow, then it’s time to bring him in with you.
For your indoor dogs and cats, their usual basket or cage is fine but add extra blankets or heated pads or put a bed jacket on them for cosiness. Bean bags or even cardboard
boxes are great to insulate against the chills at night.
On cold days make sure the curtains are open so the sun can shine in - cats and dogs
love to find that ray of sunshine to lie in!
To groom or not to groom
It is important to look after your pets' coat and provide the same regular grooming but
maybe consider keeping their coat a little longer through the winter months.
Also, if bathing your pet, ensure their coat is
completely dry before venturing outside- they can catch a chill too!
It is a great idea to give your old, sick or short
haired doggie a jacket for walks in the winter but is not necessary for your younger dog who
will want to run around in the park.
Remember there are doggie raincoats
for wet days and even booties if your dog is a bit
precious in the wet weather :)
When to go out
Here on the Cooloola Coast we are blessed with warmer days but if your dog feels the
cold, try to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures area little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing
outdoors while it’s sunny- sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you
and your pet with vitamin D.
Hydration and food
Just like people, dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses during winter weather and you may notice your
dog is more hungry than in the summer
months but this doesn’t mean you should feed
them more as, with the possibly reduced exercise regime,
they are more likely to put on weight.
It is also tempting to give your pet comfort food during
those long winter evenings, be careful!
Also, make sure your pet keeps hydrated to avoid the dry flaky skin problems that we
humans sometimes suffer from in winter. If your dog does get some dry patches
from lying too close to a heater for example, coconut oil is great to soothe.
Fish, Birds and Reptiles
It is just as important to consider any pet you may have and know that a drop in
temperature affects them too.
I used to keep Siamese fighting fish and at night time I wrapped their
little tanks with a newspaper tube to keep out the night chill. If you keep fish or reptiles you probably already have a heater in your tank setup so now is the time to adjust the
control a little and stop them from getting lethargic from cold.
Remember to cover your bird cage with a thicker blanket in winter too!
We are lucky in Queensland and it doesn’t snow in our area but, if we can feel the cold, and if we feel like putting on a jumper or some bed socks, our pets can feel it too so be kind and knit them a woolie or throw them an extra blanket and
enjoy those winter cuddles with your canine or feline companion
....they will thank you for it!