Welcome to the November edition of our ‘What does pet health look like?’ series
Over the coming months we’re going to be showing you what pet health ‘looks like’ through the eyes of a series of pet owners who will tell us more about how they keep their pets happy and healthy all year round.
We explored mental health in pets last month, and we’ve got everything from diet and fitness, to travel and companionship coming up in the New Year!
Now we are approaching the coldest months of the year, we’ll be taking a look at cold-weather pet care. It is very important that owners are aware of the extra precautions they must take during the winter to ensure their pets stay happy and healthy.
All pets need special attention when the weather turns colder. For smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs, housing needs must be carefully considered to ensure that they are warm and have access to the food and water they require no matter what the weather. Colder weather also presents challenges for cats, as well as dogs, and owners will find lots more info on the site about how to keep them healthy and happy in the winter season as well as some great tips here from the Blue Cross.
We talked to Julie who gave us some top tips on how she keeps her cat, Buddy, cosy in these colder months of the year; read her story below.
If the weather is too cold for Buddy to go out, how do you make sure he still gets plenty of exercise?
Buddy will go out whatever the weather, he actually likes getting wet. As he is only three years old we haven't really had any very cold weather yet e.g. snow, blizzards or below freezing temperatures. If he doesn't want to go out we have lots of toys around the house including play tunnels, scratch posts and a very large house, which he will run around in with his sister. He is spoilt because we also have a polytunnel, which he can always get into and there is a bed and chair for him in there, so very often if he is out he is actually in the polytunnel.
How do you care for Buddy in the cold weather?
Buddy has numerous beds and sleeping places around the house with lots of old blankets and duvets. We have a large house and there are cat beds and sleeping places in every room! There is someone in the house 24/7 so he can always come indoors if he wants and we also have a cat flap in the back door so if we are in bed he can always get into the house.
Do you relocate Buddy’s sleeping place in the winter to a warmer location?
We have a log burner, which becomes very popular to sleep by in colder weather and Buddy relocates himself to in front of the log burner in colder weather.
How can you tell if Buddy is feeling the cold and what would your first action be?
We have pet insurance and the vet is only a 5-minute drive away. As we live in quite a rural area he is on call 24/7 for the farmers so if Buddy was feeling unwell, possibly from the cold, we could always call if we felt it was necessary. If Buddy was feeling the cold he might not want to go out, get under a duvet or toast himself too much in front of the log burner, but the problem we have with Buddy is trying to keep him in!
Watch this space!
Julie has given us some great tips on keeping Buddy happy in the cold weather and for more expert advice and information on cold weather pet care – take a look here. The next instalment in our series will look at the importance of companionship for pets all year round.
The full ‘What does pet health look like?’ series will include a range of relevant topics throughout the year such as ticks, fleas, worms and skin conditions; responsible feeding, diet and exercise; grooming and dental care; travel healthcare; and the importance of companionship.