Just like that, we’re on the doorstep of another cold and grey Winter here in Victoria.
The leaves have turned beautiful shades of gold, orange and brown, the days are short, there’s that familiar chill in the air after dark and one of our favourite cold weather features – the comforting smell of open fireplaces has returned : )
This season for many means hibernation and a welcome slowing down after the frenetic days of Summer. However, just like us humans, our furry friends can also experience the Winter blues from a lack of sunshine and outdoor activity. That’s why this month The Pets team share some practical tips for staying warm in Winter that will help keep your household feeling as snug as a rug for the next few months!
Keep your pets warm & dry indoors: The first tip and most obvious for all pet owners is to keep your furry friends indoors (at least most of the time) during the cold and often wet Winter months, especially overnight when temperatures across Victoria can dip into the low single digits. This advice is especially important for short-haired breeds like Beagles, Boston Terriers and Greyhounds who don’t have extra layers of fur to keep them insulated from those harsh Winter chills. Likewise for small puppies and kittens who can’t regulate their body temperature as well as their more mature counterparts.
Make a cosy indoor space for your pets during Winter
Keep them indoors, especially overnight to avoid harsh Winter chills, even for breeds with thicker coats
Keep them moving! While our second tip might sound contradictory, keeping your pets active through regular exercise during the long Winter months is just as important to maintaining their health and wellbeing as ensuring they’re warm and dry. Whether exercise for your furry friend looks like a leisurely daily walk around the block or letting them bask in the gentle winter sun, the key is to get them (and yourself) moving a little bit each day. Not only will exercise warm them up and ward off the winter blues, it will also keep in check those excess kilos from all that tasty comfort food! If you’re worried about them catching a cold on those chilly days, the Pets Country Club team recommends investing in a top-quality RSPCA Dog Coat for extra comfort : )
Ensure your pets still get plenty of exercise, especially on sunny days
Exercise will not only warm them up, but will also keep off extra kilos!
Invest in a quality Dog Coat for extra outdoor comfort
Add extra layers to their bed: Just as we pile on extra layers for our own beds as Winter arrives, your furry friends will be wagging their tails in appreciation if you do the same for them! Whether it’s another blanket or two, or even a microwavable heat pad for those exceptionally cold nights, giving your pets TLC in the form of a higher thread count is sure to make their sleeping space feel extra cosy, aiding a well-earned rest for you both. Another handy tip is to move their bed or indoor kennel away from cold drafts (which tend to flow near doors and windows) and invest in a raised bed.
Add extra layers of blankets to your pet’s bed/indoor kennel
Consider microwavable heat pads for extra cold nights
Consider investing in a raised bed too
Hydration + healthy diet is key! Despite Winter typically being a wet and cold season in Victoria, our pets still need plenty of water and healthy food to keep them going, especially as harsh indoor heating can be quite dehydrating. You’ll also want to maintain a well-balanced diet of nutritious meals, which combined with regular exercise will keep them in good shape. P.S. Check your pet’s water bowl in the mornings to make sure it isn’t frosted over!
Keep up their water intake through Winter, indoor heating can be harsh
Maintain a well-balanced diet too
Keep up their regular vet visits: This brings us to our last tip - maintaining those regular 6-month check-ups at your local vet, especially in Winter when various seasonal ailments like the cat flu, canine arthritis and even skin problems (from too much time in the rain) can often arise. Don’t have a regular vet? We highly recommend the RSPCA website and AVA (Australian Veterinary Association) directory as great places to begin for seeking a fully-qualified practitioner close to home.
Keep up your regular 6-month vet visits
Watch for signs of seasonal ailments, including cat flu and canine arthritis
Keen to chase the sun further north this Winter and need a warm, cosy place for your furry friend to stay? Contact our friendly team at the Pets Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286. For shorter stays, we also offer our popular Doggy Daycare service, complete with climate-controlled rooms and plenty of blankets for a cosy midday nap!