Mumbai: The cold winter months are just as hard on pets as they are on people. Despite their fur coat, animals are not immune to winter cold, so when the temperature drops bring your pets inside. Don’t leave them in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings. Here are some guidelines to protect your pets during winter:
Keep your pets indoor
All pets feel cold, be it a dog, cat, bird or rabbit. The best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family.Pets are sensitive to severe cold. So,it’s better to protect them from being exposed to the chill. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.
Extra care for cats, wildlife and cars
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood orsnuggle and sleep under the cars. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
Wrap your pet up in warmth
These days we can find umpteen sweaters and jackets for animals in pet shops. Pick up a right size for your pet and keep him warm and cozy when you take him for a walk. If you have birds, rabbits or other caged pets, simply cover their cage with a shawl. This will keep the insides of the cage warm. Remember to make sure you leave a little space exposed for them to breathe.
Fur is a natural warmer
Dogs and cats are blessed with thick fur that keeps them warm naturally. Hence, avoid shaving off their coat during winter. Also, don't take your dog out for a walk immediately after giving him a bath. Let his coat dry out completely before taking him outdoors.
Place a warm and cozy bedding
Don’t let your cat or dog to sleep on the floor during winter. Beddings and mattresses for pets come in various shapes and sizes. Get one and see how your pet loves snuggling up on it. Also, place the bedding in a warm spot (carpeted area) preferably where he sleeps everyday so that the area doesn't feel unfamiliar.
Keep room heater out of their reach
Ensure that you keep them away from room heaters, lamps or any other heating source. Petswhoget too close to such radiators may get a burn.
Give your pets plenty of food and water
Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. When the drinking water in their bowl is ice-cold, they can’t drink it. It's advisable to replenish the old water with fresh, room-temperature water every 2-3 hours.
Get a health check-up in winter
Dogs who are prone to arthritis might have a hard time during the winter months. It is therefore important for you to pay extra attention to their exercise routines. Consult with your veterinarian for health supplements and other medication if your pet experiences joint pain.