Winters in India range from the pleasantly cold to the very extremes, and both you and your pets need just as much care when the mercury drops! If you thought that furry coat was enough to keep them warm, you’d join many pet parents who make the same mistake. But you need to make sure that your beloved companion is as healthy and comfortable as can be, so they can enjoy the best of the cold seasons, with you!
Here are the top 6 winter pet care tips that will make your life easier by Dr Vinod Sharma, Head of Veterinary Services – DCC Animal Hospital and Pet – Care and one of India’s foremost veterinary practitioners. His organization achieved a place in ‘Limca Book of Records’ as he organised the first blood bank in India for animals
Get to know the temperature your pets can handle
Just like humans, you need to understand your pet’s tolerance based on several factors including their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. While long-haired or thick-coated pets are usually more cold-resistant, short-haired or those with shorter legs feel colder because of the increased exposure. So, make sure your pet is wearing a suitable covering or coat made for them, and check on them regularly.
Keep their outdoor hours during the daytime
This one’s for dogs; if you don’t already, walk them during the late morning or early afternoon when it’s warmer outside. Not only will it be more comfortable, walks or playing in the sun also gives them their much-needed dose of Vitamin D!
Make sure their bedding is warm and comfortable
While we all know how much our pets love claiming every spot in the entire house as their own, we should still make sure they have a space of their own that is adequately warm and cozy. That ends up becoming their safe space, with their familiar warm blankets and toys. Additionally, if you have any kind of heaters or fireplaces in the house, make sure they are pet-proofed, and your pets don’t accidentally hurt themselves while seeking warmth.
Be it dogs or cats, dry and cold weather can be as bad for your pets’ skin as it is for ours. At times, even more. By consulting with your veterinarian, you can add a skin and coat supplement to their food, to help prevent dry, flaky, or cracked skin. Coconut oil is also a great natural moisturizer you can apply externally if needed.
There is a common misconception that increasing the food intake of your pets might protect them from the cold, but that could prove disastrous for them. You need to carefully monitor your pets’ weight throughout the season to make sure they’re at a healthy weight and adjust their calory intake based on their level of activity as well. Again, you can consult your veterinarian for a high-quality whole-food diet for your pets.
Make sure they’re hydrated
Winters lower our water consumption, just as much as it can in your pets. But for them, dehydration can be life-threatening! So, during winters, make sure their water bowls are never empty and keep watch on whether they are drinking adequate water or not.