News and Media

Winter pet care tips

July 19, 2016

Winter is here and just like us, our pets feel the effects of the cold weather. We take extra measures to keep ourselves healthy and comfortable at this time of year, and it’s important that we do the same for our four-legged friends.

Here are our top tips:

Keep warm

Ideally, your pet shouldn’t be kept outside for long periods during winter. Like humans, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.

If your dog needs to stay outside, make sure they have access to a draught-free kennel offering protection from rain, frost and wind. Fill the kennel with warm, dry blankets for extra warmth and comfort.

For cats, consider installing a cat flap for easy access to your house. Keep your cat indoors at night – this is a legal requirement in many council areas, so be sure to check with your local council.

Stay fit

Even though it’s cold outside, it’s still important for pet owners to keep a regular exercise routine. Not exercising can affect your dog’s physical health and in some cases can lead to behavioural problems.

Whether it’s a regular morning walk or run in the park, make sure you maintain that routine during winter to ensure your dog remains fit and healthy – plus, it’s good for you too.

Prevent dry skin and sore paws

Moving between the cold and the dry heat of your home can result in your dog getting itchy, dry skin.

After your pet has been outside, pat them dry with a towel to remove any excess water. Pay special attention to the area around their feet and between their toes.

You can also minimise the risk of your pet getting dry, sore paws by massaging petroleum jelly into their paw pads before going out, which will help protect them from salt and other chemicals.

Watch out for pets in car engines

Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats and even small wildlife searching for a place to stay warm.

To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on the bonnet of your car before starting the engine. This will give them time to run away before you start your journey.

Desex before breeding season

While it may seem like a while a way, the arrival of spring marks the arrival of breeding season. With cats and dogs breeding from a young age, winter is a good time to desex your pet. Desexing can have a number of health and behavioural benefits for your pet. Plus, it helps reduce the number of homeless pets in our community.

July is National Desexing Month. Click here to find out about discounted desexing rates at our Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic, available to pension, health care and concession card holders.

Regardless of the time of year, it’s important for us to look out for our pets. Despite being cold and sometimes miserable, winter is the perfect time to sharpen some obedience training  or simply enjoy cuddles on the couch with your pets!