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Top Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe and Warm in Winter
15 May 2023
Winter Pet Safety Tips: How to Keep Your Furry Friend Safe and Warm
Just like humans, pets may suffer from seasonal health issues, and they may be more prone to certain illnesses during overly wet and cold periods. There are many hazards that pets can face with the rapid decrease in temperatures, especially at night, with winter evenings falling below zero in some parts of New Zealand.
It’s important to prioritise your pet’s care during the colder months, helping to make sure they stay happy and healthy.
Protecting Your Pet from the Cold
Keeping your pet warm and comfortable in winter is essential, this will help to minimise the risk of conditions and illnesses that are common during this time of year.
Purchase a Pet Coat
Although some of our pets can grow thicker coats during the colder months, short-haired breeds, puppies, or senior dogs may need a well-fitted pet coat to help them keep warm.
Bathing Your Pet
When bathing your pets in winter, use lukewarm water to keep them at a comfortable temperature. Once they have been washed, avoid allowing them to become damp by making sure their coat is completely dry.
With winter nights being a lot colder, it’s important to make sure your pet has a warm and safe space to sleep. For extra comfort, provide your pet with additional bedding and warm blankets.
Preparing Your Home for Winter
Making sure your home is well-equipped for the needs of a pet is something that should be done before introducing a pet to your family. However, it’s also important to revisit this when approaching winter.
Sleeping Arrangement for Your Pet
Your pet may be perfectly content sleeping outside on balmy summer nights, but in the wintertime, it’s best to be safe and move their bed indoors, whenever possible. If your pet needs to be outside, it’s important to make sure your pet has access to a dry kennel.
Heating Sources Around the Home
Just like children, our pets can put themselves in danger by getting close to a heating source. Make sure any fireplaces or heaters are safeguarded to help keep your pet from being too close to a hot surface.
Check for Draughts or Leaks
Consider where your pet’s bedding is located, and check there are no cold draughts or leaks that could impact its sleeping environment. This is especially important if your pet sleeps outside in the winter.
Exercise and Outdoor Safety
Winter is not always an easy time to exercise pets, but it’s still important to make sure your pet has enough mental and physical stimulation to get them through the months.
Assess Your Pet’s Diet
Your pet may need additional nutrients to boost their immune system and build muscle strength, helping to improve their health. When it comes to diet recommendations, it may be useful to get advice from your veterinarian.
Keep Safe When Exercising Outdoors
Keeping yourself safe while exercising your pets is equally as important as keeping your pets safe. If you take your dog for a walk in the evening, try to do this while there is still daylight. If this is not possible, avoid wearing dark-coloured clothing to make sure you’re easily seen.
Consider Additional Activities
An increase in wet weather means it won’t always be possible for your pet to explore the outside world. Make sure you have some enriching activities that keep your pet occupied for those wet days.
Extra Considerations for Pets During Winter
You need to be extra vigilant when it comes to caring for your pet’s health during winter. This is especially important if your pet is a senior or has a condition that requires ongoing care.
Senior Pet Care
As your pet gets older, winter pet hazards should become more of a consideration factor. Your senior pet might require some additional care to get through the colder days and nights. Stay vigilant to make sure you notice any signs of stress or sudden changes in its movement.
Special Needs Pets
If your pet has existing ailments such as arthritis, these may be exacerbated in cold weather. Keep an eye on your pet and don’t hesitate to visit a veterinarian if their condition worsens or they develop new symptoms.
Monitor their Water Intake
Keeping your pet hydrated during winter is often overlooked, but it is still very important. It may be more obvious to increase water consumption during warmer seasons, however, there are other factors that can contribute to dehydration during winter. Be sure to keep their water bowl topped up, encouragement for them to drink may be required.
Whether you have a big, small, furry, feathery, or scaly pet, it’s important to prioritise their safety and well-being during winter. If you have any health concerns or require specific advice for your pet’s needs during winter, always consult with your local veterinarian.
How Petcover can help your pet
Petcover specialises in offering quality, straightforward pet insurance with a range of policy options that suit your needs. Whether your pet is big or small, our range of cover options are packed with added benefits. Accidents can happen at any time and the reality of veterinary costs can come as quite a shock. With our range of cover levels for dogs, cats, and horses why not get a quote today?