As we move from one season to another, we think about the number of layers we need to wear and whether we need to alter our daily routine to cope with the changes. Whilst we consider the alterations we need to make; it is important to ensure that we also prepare our pets for the season ahead.
Below are five things to consider as we head into autumn and winter:
Even though the nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air, it is important to still exercise our dogs to ensure they stay fit and healthy. However, older dogs and puppies can be more sensitive to the colder weather so it may be worth keeping them inside more and looking at other ways to keep them active (e.g. interactive toys). If you still venture out for your regular walk, ensure that your dog is suitably prepared for the season, whether that be a warm coat for the cold or a reflective collar for those darker nights.
The change in season could also bring about a change in your pet’s nutrition. Food portions may need to be altered to align with their exercise regime to control their calorie intake and body weight.
Your pet’s fur and coat acts like that ‘winter coat’ we put on to keep ourselves warm; therefore, ensuring it is kept in good condition is crucial. In addition, having clean fur helps to hold air just like when you layer clothes!
When returning from a walk, a handy tip can be to have a bowl of warm water and some towels available so that you can wipe your dogs’ paws, as this helps to remove any mud, salt or other substances they may have picked up whilst out, that can be an irritant or make them unwell.
With the temperature starting to drop as we transition through the seasons, we can experience colder nights and the occasional frosty mornings. As such, there is an increase in the use of chemicals such as antifreeze, coolant, and screen wash – all of which can be poisonous to your pet if ingested. Always ensure they are kept out of reach from inquisitive animals and clear up any spills promptly!
Many of the points above relate to your pet being outside; however, it is equally important to ensure that you are prepared for seasonal changes inside the home. Be mindful that certain floor types that are tiled or uncarpeted can become cold, creating an uncomfortable environment for your pet to sleep on. Ensure they have a nice warm bed to cosy up into for sleep, away from the cold floors and any drafts and avoid using portable heaters to provide that extra warmth as this can pose a hazard to your pet.
For further information, contact your local Park Vets Group branch.