Keeping your pets healthy during winter

As you take steps to keep yourself healthy this winter, don’t overlook your fur babies. Here’s how to keep your pets healthy during winter.

With winter approaching you may be thinking about ways to keep you and the special people in your life healthy during the colder months. Now’s also a good time to consider how to keep your pets healthy too.

Here are four tips on how to help keep your animals happy and healthy during winter:

1. Keep up your pets exercise

While it’s certainly harder to get up and take the pooch for a walk when it’s cold and dark outside, it’s still important they get plenty of exercise - even when it’s raining! If you both get wet during the walk, make sure you dry your pet thoroughly, including paying extra attention to their paws, so they don’t get sick.

If the weather really is too terrible to go outside, keep them occupied inside with games and toys instead. When a walk isn’t possible, a game of tug-of-war or hide and seek indoors will give your dog some mental and physical stimulation and keep you both from getting bored.

2. Keep your pets warm and cosy

Just like you like to stay warm and dry inside, so do your pets. So, make sure your cat, dog, or even rabbit, has a safe spot they can hang out inside. You’ll want to pick an area that isn’t draughty or damp, or they could get sick.

If you have a rabbit in a hutch outside and it’s not possible to bring them in, make sure you provide extra bedding and check it regularly to make sure it’s still clean and dry, so they stay warm.

You can also buy special clothes for your animals to keep them warm if they’re prone to getting a little chilly. They can wear these when you take them out for exercise to keep them warmer and dryer - especially great if you live in the cold south. If you live near snow, or the ground is frosty, you could also buy some booties to protect their paws.

3. Keep your pets well-fed and watered

It’s important all year round, but ensure your animals have access to plenty of fresh water and sufficient food during winter. Your pet may need more or less depending on how active they are, and what’s needed to keep them at a healthy weight. So, keep an eye on them and adjust as required.

4. Pay extra attention to older pets

Cold, damp weather can aggravate arthritis in older pets, so it’s extra important to keep an eye on them and keep them comfortable. A raised bed, or one with extra padding, will definitely be welcomed by your older pet and you can even get heated pads as a special treat.

It may also be worth talking with your vet if there are any additional supplements you can give them to help them feel more comfortable and stay healthy.

Winter doesn’t have to mean hibernation for you or your pets. But there are a few extra steps you should take to make sure they stay healthy during the winter months. And, if you have any concerns at all, it’s best to talk to your vet.