Let’s answer some important questions that will enable you to look after your pet better in these cold months.
Temperatures have dropped and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get out of bed. You must have noticed that even our pets seek out warmer areas, curling up on their bedding as opposed to the floor, in these cold winter months.
Did you know that our bodies need to burn more calories to keep us warm? The same goes for our pets. Their furry coats can only protect them to a certain extent. They need to be cared for from the inside out.
This leaves us to answer some important questions…
Do our pets need to be fed more in the winters?
For the ones with extreme climatic changes, please take note. If your pet is getting the same level of exercise as they did in the warmer months, go ahead and increase the calorific content of their food slightly; if not, their consumption can remain the same.
One must also keep in mind the breed of the dog in question. Different breeds react to the winters differently. For instance, a Siberian Husky’s thick winter coat will allow them to expend less energy keeping warm as opposed to a regular short haired dogs. Thus a Siberian Husky may not need as much of a calorific tweak as a short haired dog in colder climates.
What foods should we give them?
It is imperative that our pets are fed food that balance out their energetics. While warm broths are great for the winter, it would be an ideal time to include warming and hot proteins in your pet’s diet. Meats like chicken, buffalo, goat, turkey and lamb meat increase body heat and help them combat the cold weather. Further, by adding essential fatty acids to their diet, we can help prevent the incidence of excess shedding and dry skin, a problem that is notoriously prevalent in the winter.
Can they catch a cold?
Unfortunately, yes. Our pets are susceptible to getting the sniffles during winter. Prevent this by making sure they are not sleeping on cold flooring. You must provide them with a nice comfy bed or a mat or a blanket. You could also make them wear a cozy jacket or sweater for added protection.
In the event that they do catch a cold, you could help them recover by feeding warm bone broth. You could also try and give your dog steam – one easy way to do this is to run a hot shower and spend some time with your dog in the bathroom.
Do winters increase the incidence of Kennel Cough?
The answer to this question is also, sadly, yes. Kennel Cough spreads when one dog who has it comes into contact with another and the incidence of Kennel Cough is higher in the winter. Common symptoms include a coughing sound, sneezing, gagging, sometimes throwing up a white frothy liquid and mild fever. Do consult your vet, if you suspect that your dog has kennel cough. Some simple home remedies like giving your dog steam, feeding them raw honey, and using a harness as opposed to a collar, can help alleviate the symptoms.
Does their skin demand winter care?
The dry weather tends to dry the delicate skin of our pets. Using mild cleansers, giving a slight oil rub before bath time and using soothing salves and balms is highly recommended during these months.
Although one may assume that since our pets have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold, it is not always the case. Our pets are used to the warmth of the indoors and the cold weather could be hard on them. Not only do our pets need a little extra love and care in these cold months, we strongly believe that they deserve it too!