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Winter Pet Care Tips

In some parts of the country winter means below freezing temperatures, icy wind and sometimes even snow. For other parts, it means cold, wet and muddy conditions. But what does winter mean for pet owners?

Many are under the misconception that due to your four-legged friends having a permanent furry coat, they can tolerate the cold better than their human’s. This isn’t always the case, as many of our doggos are used to the warmth and shelter of the indoors, which means they need a bit of extra care in the colder months.

How can you ensure your pet is well cared for and warm this winter? Here are some tips: 

  1. Coat up on walks: those early morning or evening walks can be a little chillier than we are used to, keep your pet warm with a jacket or jersey. 
  2. Keep them dry: dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks and make sure they have a cosy bed to return to which is away from any cold draught.
  3. Well fed: sometimes it may be necessary to increase food intake during the winter, as your dog will be using more energy to stay warm. If you are unsure, check with your vet. 
  4. Indoor is best: Some dogs can be very reluctant to venture out into the cold. If this is the case, do not force them out but make sure you provide them with lots of toys for them to play and keep them occupied while indoors.
  5. Be seen: As the sun sets earlier and rises later, attach a small light to your dog's collar or harness so they can be seen when out on walks in reduced visibility.
  6. Pawdicures: Just like our skin dries out during the winter months, it is important to check your pet's paws for dry and cracked paws and pads.
  7. Less grooming: Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. 
  8. Less washing: Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
  9. Snuggle spot: Make sure your furry family member has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
  10. Prevent the parasites: Cape Town weather does not get cold enough to eradicate ticks and fleas. Maintain your tick and flea preventatives throughout the year.
  • July 04, 2021
  • Lara Robertson
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