Winter is approaching, temperatures are dropping, and you are becoming busier in anticipation of the festive period. This combination of factors means that you have to give your pets a little extra TLC over the coming months. After all, you don’t want them to go without, feel lonely, or have unidentified problems that could cause them pain or discomfort. Here are a few things to bear in mind and simple solutions to potential problems that may arise.
Most dogs tend to be affectionate and a little needy, so you need to ensure that you pay them plenty of attention year-round. During the festive period, you may find that you are out of the house more often than usual. You have meals and events to attend, shopping to do, and are run off our feet with a whole other host of tasks to complete in the build-up to the big day. Your absence can leave your pooch feeling a little low and left out. So, first priority on your list should be to ensure that your canine friend gets their walk each and every day. Whether this means getting up an hour earlier than necessary in the morning and taking a brisk walk around the park, or popping home during your lunch break to get the job done. If you don’t have time, you can always use dog walking services. To find reliable options click here. This will stretch their legs and give them a dose of stimulating experience amongst the sights and smells of winter. Next, try to take your pup along to things with you where possible. Certain shops allow pooches inside, and local cafes, pubs, and bars often let well-behaved dogs in and will provide a bowl of fresh water for them. Just ask before heading in.
Cats are perhaps one of the most independent pets that you can have. They generally come and go as they please out of the cat flap, strolling the streets by day and returning home to the comfort of their food and bed at night. But there are certain things you should do to ensure their well being during the winter. First, whenever you get in our out of your car, bang the hood. Many cats will shelter from the rain under your vehicle, and sometimes they will lie there for warmth (many of us start our engines running before getting into the car to allow it time to warm up and defrost). Banging the hood will ensure that your cat or any other sleeping feline will wake up and move well out of the way before you pull off. You should also check your cat’s paws regularly when they return from the outdoors. Snow or frost could be compacted in between their pads which can be painful. You can melt this with a hairdryer (just don’t set it too hot or hold it too close to the paw).
Rabbits do not hibernate during the winter and they do not tolerate extreme weather very well. Ideally, if you have pet rabbits, you should take them on as house rabbits. They can be house trained much in the same way that cats and dogs are. They will generally use a litter box and be a cute, loving lap companion. However, if you must keep your rabbits outdoors, you need to ensure that they are protected from the elements. If they look limp or excessively tired at any point, then you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure that they have plenty of food (this will help them to put on weight, gaining more body fat and consequently provide them with better heat insulation). Ensure that their hutch has extra piles of hay, newspaper and other insulating materials. You should also ensure that there are no gaps in the structure and the roof is sealed and water resistant. Consider investing in a Snugglesafe Heatpad. It’s essentially a pet-safe hot water bottle which is warmed in the microwave and releases heat slowly over a period of time. You will only have to heat it around twice a day.
For now, we’ve stuck to three of the most common household pets. However, any creature will need a little extra care over the coming months. So make sure to do your research and ensure that you’re up to date with each of your pet’s individual needs. Most importantly, keep them warm, well fed, exercised, and entertained.