Ten tips to prep your pet for winter

Winter is fast approaching, and while we are pulling out the doonas and packing away the swimmers, PetSafe® Brand Australia is reminding all Australians to winter prep their pets with a handy top 10 tips designed to help keep your pets happy, warm and healthy through the colder months.

1. Access to Shelter
Indoors with you is best; however, if this is not possible, make sure your pet has a shelter that is dry and out of the wind. Make sure the area is free from draughts and has adequate warm bedding for them to snuggle or even a little cosy hideaway if there is space.

2. Fashion with functionality
Investing in a pet coat or jacket, especially if they spend a lot of time outside is a great idea! Simple is best, the easier it is to get on the better and less likely to be uncomfortable for your pet.

3. Avoid the antifreeze
In colder regions of Australia where we might get frost or even snow on our cars (Canberra, for example), people tend to use antifreeze to clear the frost. As a consequence vets can report an increase in poisoning cases with pets that come in contact with the antifreeze. If you do need to use such poisons, make sure it is well and truly away from your pets.

4. Cats and Cars
Cats love warm car engines in the winter and often will crawl under (or even into) your car to sleep. However, they can get stuck within the engine or accidentally run over. Before you drive off a knock on the hood or a toot of the horn before starting the engine should scare them out. But safest is physically seeing your cat before you drive away. To be extra, sure!

5. Lots of fresh water, even in winter
It is a common misconception that pets drink less in colder months. Pets drink just as much all year round! Be aware, however, if you do live in an unusually cold part of Australia where your pet’s water could freeze over, investing in a Pet Fountain might be an idea.

6. The diet can wait till spring
Cold weather sometimes means less activity. Help manage the weight of your pet through winter by having a ready supply of high-quality food. You don’t want your pet to pack on pounds during winter, but you don’t want your pet to lose weight either. Save any required diets for springtime, and make sure your pup gets enough calories to stay warm and maintain a healthy weight. If you have concerns regarding your pets’ weight, always consult a vet.

7. Watch for the itch
Winter can be dry and uncomfortable for indoor cats. The dry air can lead to a dry coat, and that can be itchy, and nobody likes an itch. Keep a humidifier going to maintain the right level of humidity and help keep everybody comfortable – maybe even you too!

8. Pet Proof the House
Ensure that you never leave your pet alone in a room with a space heater switched on. It could accidentally get knocked over, possibly starting a fire. Also, don’t allow your pets to sleep on electric blankets as they can potentially burn or itch their skin. If your pet seems cold, offer a blanket or a cuddle to warm them up or put a jumper on them.

9. Exercise in the sunlight
Nothing warms up a pet, or ourselves, in the winter months, then a brisk walk in the bright sunlight. Luckily for us, in Australia, we do still get lots of winter sun, so make the most of it. During these colder months, try and take your dog for a walk when the sun is out, and the temperature is a bit higher.

10. Moisturise 
Just like us hoomans, our pet’s skin can get dry and flaky in the winter. By adding a skin and coat supplement to their food can help, or even using coconut oil on their skin and coat every couple of days.