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Caring for Pets in Winter

Brrrr! It is cold this time of the year. We all feel the chill when the mercury drops and the nights and early mornings seem freezing. Our pets also feel the cold and need extra protection.

All pets feel cold, be it a dog, cat, birds or rabbits. It’s better to protect them from being exposed to the chill, lest they catch cold. Many dog owners live with the misconception that because their pets have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. This isn’t necessarily the case. Like us, these fur-coated creatures are used to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can be as hard on them as it is on us humans.

Many of us also have stray pets (cats and dogs) around our homes that tend to snuggle and sleep under the cars or in the garage or shed. In winter time, bring the house pets indoors and make sure that outdoor pets have safe shelter. Oh and when you start your car, bang the bonnet to make sure there isn’t a cat curled up in your engine looking for warmth.

Don’t Let them Sleep on a Cold Floor

We wear slippers on our feet because of the cold floor. Make sure your pets don’t have to sleep on the cold floor during winter.  If they don’t have a bed or basket, buy some of these mixed fibre budget blankets from all our stores. They are environmentally friendly and are made in South Africa.

Keep your Dogs Warm

Come on, you have to keep your canine cosy! You can always put some of your old blankets down for the do, but most of us don’t really use blankets anymore. These mixed fiber blankets have been specially designed for dog. They last longer and are easier to keep clean.

Dog beds that look like big poufy cushions are also great for dogs, especially for bigger dogs. A nice cosy dog bed in the corner of the room will also keep the pooches off your couches.

Caring for Cats in Winter

Cats tend to curl up where they like, especially in warm places or where sunbeams come into the house. If you are looking for a bit of sunshine in the winter days, look for the cat.

Cats understand some part of their world by tasting objects. Antifreeze poisoning is a problem especially in winter, where antifreeze may have dripped onto the ground when someone has added it to the engine of their car. For some reason cats (and dogs) seem to be attracted to the taste of Ethylene glycol, which can be deadly if they ingest it.

Some cats, such as Persian cats and the Ragdolls, have lovely thick and soft fur. This fur helps keep them warm in winter. However, for other cats in winter, you may need some extra help. Consider investing in a coat for your cat.

Put the Room Heater Away

If you have a pet that moves around (dogs and cats), ensure that you do away with room heaters, lamps or any other heating source. The pet might get too close to such radiators and get a burn. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!

Cut down on Baths

Moisturiser is your best friend during the winter, but your pet doesn’t have the same luxury. Baths tend to dry out their skin the same way it does yours. While it’s not the most serious of problems, dry skin can cause an animal some discomfort, so cut down on baths. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to her food. Coconut oil is a good natural moisturizer that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.

Special Care for Seniors

Just like with humans, cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in pets, particularly arthritis.  Make sure you pay special attention.

Keep these winter care tips in mind and enjoy everything winter has to offer, even though it isn’t really very cold here in Durban.  And don’t forget that winter cuddles with your fur kids is a great way for everybody to keep warm!

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