WINTER PET CARE
Happy, Healthy Pets!
by Cheryl Greenhough – Posh Pooches Tipton
With us in the middle of our cold season, our pets often need a little extra TLC, to ensure they stay fit and well during the winter.
Here are a few points to consider:
FEEDING OUR PETS
Animals that live outside, such as Rabbits or Guinea Pigs, or dogs and cats that spend lots of time outside will require a higher food intake. They will burn more calories to create energy to keep themselves warm. You may find that our pets will exercise or move around less to conserve their energy to keep warm. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet’s health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and bottles, to ensure they haven’t frozen over. It is a good idea to check these 2 or 3 times a day.
Pets that live outside will need lots of extra bedding to keep warm. Hutches should be checked daily for any leaks or damage, and bedding should be changed regularly, to prevent damp from affecting your pet’s joints. Dogs may need a warm or waterproof coat for long walks.
If you have an elderly pet, their joints will tend to bother them more during winter months, just like with Humans. A dietary supplement may help. Why not try a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement in their food. This can help ease swollen joints and ease Arthritis pain in cold damp weather.
Young pets may also benefit from a supplement A Puppy or young adult dog will appreciate a Cod Liver or Salmon oil addition to their diet. This will keep their coat glossy and healthy.
The Winter can really take its toll on our pets skin and coat. Dogs that live indoors will often get dry or flakey skin, and their coats may become brittle. This is due to us humans feeling cold and cranking up the central heating! A Salmon Oil supplement works great for this! Grooming is another essential factor to consider. Thick coats such as Golden Retrievers can build up a very thick winter undercoat This needs to be groomed regularly, to ensure the undercoat isn’t blocking fresh air getting to the skin. Dogs that do not moult, such as Shih Tzu’s will need regular professional grooms so prevent matting. A well groomed coat will keep your pet warm. Matted hair chokes the skin, and when wet, will hold the water against the skin, preventing it from drying out and can lead to skin problems.
Pets will often get runny eyes from frosty mornings or strong winds. Keep them clean using a specific pet eye cleaner, to prevent eye infections and discharge build up. Eyes should be cleaned daily in dogs that produce tears which can lead to staining of the coat.
While out walking on frosty ground, road grit and ice can cause pads to become cracked or chapped. It is important to keep their feet clear from debris and matting of the hair in between the toes.
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