Pets are cherished family members. In 2018, American pet owners spent more than $72 billion on their pets. Although pet owners are willing to invest financially to care for their pets, some may not realize that their furry friends have distinct pet care needs during different times of the year.
The cold winter months can be tough on pets, particularly if they’re a short-haired breed, older, or suffering from medical conditions such as arthritis. Use these strategies to ensure your pet stays happy, healthy, and warm all winter long.
1. Health Checkup and Medication
Invest in pet insurance Australia and take your pet to see their vet before winter starts. Veterinary care can be expensive, but pet insurance plans are available for routine care and emergency care. With iSelect, you can compare the monthly fees, the amount of coverage provided, and conditions that apply to the plan. Use this information to find the best cat insurance or pet insurance policy for your needs and budget. Cold weather can aggravate your pet’s joints and complicate symptoms of illnesses, such as arthritis. Vets can recommend supplements and medication to treat arthritis or perform injections to keep your pet healthy and comfortable all year long.
2. Warm Beds
Invest in thick pet beds designed to help your pet retain their body heat. Pet beds are particularly important if you have hardwood or laminate floors. They provide a buffer between your pet and the floor to keep them from getting chilled. You may opt to purchase an electric pet bed to ensure your pet’s bed is warm enough, particularly if they do not have long hair. Pets that spend time outside should have a warm, dry sleeping area that is insulated.
3. Efficient Home Heating
Your home heating system can help keep the whole family warm. Invest in custom ductwork that efficiently distributes air throughout your entire home. Ducts with good intake and efficient air output are capable of effectively circulating and heating air to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home without straining your furnace. Keep your ducts clean. Obstructions and build-up in the ducts can reduce airflow. Have your HVAC system maintained annually to ensure it’s working properly.
4. Protective Clothing
Prevent your pets from getting a chill with warm pet sweaters. Pet sweaters help pets retain their body heat. Sweaters are incredibly helpful for short-haired pets who may struggle to stay warm on the coldest days. You can also invest in a waterproof pet coat. Lined pet coats have an exterior waterproof shell that will help protect your pet from snow and rain. You can also keep your pet’s feet warm by using pet boots before you head outside.
5. Pet Warmers
There are several types of pet warmers designed to keep your pets from getting cold. Electric pet warmers are like heating pads. Self-warming pet warmers are designed to retain your pet’s body heat when your pet lays on them. These warmers may not work as well if your pet’s fur is wet, though. Disposable heat packs generate warmth as soon as their package is opened. They can be placed inside stuffed toys. Your pet can snuggle with the toy and receive comfort and warmth.
6. Regular Exercise
Your pet’s body temperature will increase when they are exercising. It may be tempting to cut back on their exercise routine when it’s cold or dark outside, but pets need to maintain a consistent exercise schedule to maintain their health year-round. Add morning and evening walks to your regular schedule. You can also supplement your dog’s exercise routine with weekend trips to a local dog park to play fetch. If you’re working long shifts, you may also opt to send your dog to daycare.
7. Maintain Grooming
Although your pet’s fur will thicken during the cold winter months, it still needs to be brushed regularly. Maintain your pet’s grooming routine all year long to prevent their fur from getting matted. Even if your pet is spending more time inside because it’s cold out, they still need regular baths to keep their fur clean. A bath can also be a nice way to warm up after a walk or visit to a dog park.