It’s that time of the year again. The temperatures drop and the days become shorter which means our beloved pets require extra care and attention to stay warm, healthy and happy. Winter can be a challenging time for animals, as cold weather poses unique risks. Additionally, it’s essential to remember that pet care is a year-round commitment, including maintaining regular flea and worming treatments, like VetBox, even during the colder seasons.
Want to find out how you can best look after your pet this winter? You’ve come to the right place! Below is our 8-step guide of things to be mindful of when caring for your pet during winter:
1. Make an Effort to Understand Winter Risks for Pets
Winter brings about a set of challenges that can affect your pet’s health. For instance, exposure to cold can lead to hypothermia, especially in smaller and short-haired breeds. Moreover, chemicals used during winter, such as antifreeze, can be toxic to pets. It’s crucial to understand these risks to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort.
2. Create a Warm and Safe Space
Ensure your pet has a warm and cosy place away from cold drafts and damp areas in your home. Bedding should be thick and comfortable, and for pets that spend time outdoors, proper shelter is essential. Also, consider a pet-safe heating solution if necessary.
3. Manage Outdoor Time
While some pets enjoy playing in the snow, it’s important to limit their time outside during extreme cold conditions. For breeds that are more susceptible to cold, consider using pet coats or sweaters when you venture outdoors. After dog walks, check and clean your pets’ paws to remove any salt or de-icing chemicals that they might have stepped on, which can be harmful if licked off.
4. Be Mindful of your Pet’s Diet and Hydration
Your pet’s dietary needs might change in winter. Some pets require more calories during the cold months, while others who are less active, might need less. It’s important to ensure your pet has access to clean, unfrozen water at all times, so do regularly wash and refresh their water bowls.
5. Maintain your Pet’s Mental Stimulation and Exercise
Due to winter’s rainy, wet and colder conditions, your pet may spend less outdoor time which means, finding ways to keep them fit and mentally stimulated indoors is crucial. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders and indoor play like hide & seek can help keep your pet active and engaged even if the weather prevents you and your pet from exploring outdoors.
6. Keep Up-to-Date with Grooming and Health Checks
Winter can be tough on your pet’s skin and coat. Regular grooming helps prevent matting and dry skin. It’s also a good opportunity to check the body of your pet for any unusual signs that might require veterinary attention.
7. Maintain a Year-Round Parasite Prevention
Contrary to popular belief, fleas and worms are not just a summer problem. These parasites can survive indoors during winter, making year-round flea prevention crucial for your pet’s health. VetBox offers a convenient and effective way to ensure your pet is protected against fleas and worms throughout the year, not just in the warmer months.
Check out how to get started using VetBox here to protect your pet against fleas, ticks, roundworms and tapeworms.
8. Give Extra-Special Care for Senior Pets
Older pets, or those with health conditions, may need extra care during winter. They may be more vulnerable to the cold and might require adjustments in their diet, exercise and medication.
Winter care for pets involves a bit more than just keeping them warm. By understanding the unique challenges of the season, being mindful of all the above tips, and continuing with regular health checks and parasite prevention with products like VetBox, you can ensure your fur friends stay happy and healthy throughout the winter months.
We hope this blog has been helpful and armed you, as pet owners, with useful guidance on how to best care for your pet in winter.
We’d love to know your winter pet care tips or experiences with VetBox in the comments below, please share them with us if you can!