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Winter is something which poses challenges to every living being, be it humans or animals. A pet owner may feel that animals can live in any condition citing the example of the creatures of the wild. But the animals which live in the wild have adapted themselves to their situation and eat and live in a way which supports their survival. The domestic animals (like dogs and cats) have adapted themselves, over a great number of years, to certain luxuries like easy food (ready -made or pre-cooked), clean and comfortable habitat and so on.
Thus, the cold is as punishing to the pet animals as it is to the humans. Hence, they need the care and attention of their owners to sail through the weather in good health. Mentioned below are some very important tips which can assist a pet owner in taking care of the well being of its adorable companion in the harsh winter weather.
Keep them in the warmth of the home
Like man, animals too feel uncomfortable in the cold. Hence, the amount of time spent outdoors needs to be limited as otherwise they might catch a serious illness. Even inside the home, place the pet’s bed in a warm area. Try to cover the uncarpeted area of the house, which is frequented by the pet so that it doesn’t have to sit or lie on a cold surface.
Consulting a Vet
Get the pet tested through a veterinarian, before the arrival of winter, so that he can check for any signs of a disease which may get aggravated by the cold.
There are ailments like arthritis which get worse during winters, hence, the pet owner should make sure that exercises are regularly undertaken and proper medication (in consultation with the vet) is provided in case the pet feels pain in its joints.
Danger from heating devices
Heaters and fire places can be very dangerous to both the pet and pet owner’s home. The pet can burn itself or they may also knock down the source of heat and put the entire household in danger. Screens over the fire places and use of portable heaters (which can be placed at unreachable places) can help to avoid the harm.
Keep the pets hydrated
Pets also feel less thirsty in winters, like humans, but their body’s requirement of water remains the same (as in the summers). Try to replace the cold water from their bowls every 2/3 hours with a little lukewarm water.
Keep them clean and well-covered
Pets have a natural layer of fur which keeps their bodies warm. One should avoid shaving their coats in winter. The natural insulator should also be kept clean and remember not to send them outdoors before their coats completely dry off.
Apart from their fur, the body heat of the dogs can also be preserved by making it wear a sweater or jacket, especially when it goes outside the house. Also, make sure that the garment properly fits the animal. There are plenty of pet products and accessories available in the market or online from where one can get winter wear in different colors and sizes.
A good diet
Food generates the heat which is necessary for the body to maintain the right temperature. During winters, the need to keep oneself warm increases, thus, a nutritious diet should be provided to the dogs at regular intervals. The pet parent can buy the best winter food for its pet, duly authorized by the food authorities, to ensure its good health throughout the season. However, while increasing the quantity one should consult a vet as otherwise it can easily lead to an overweight pet.
A pet should not be treated differently, it is a member of the family, provides great companionship, love and loyalty. The pet has aligned its lifestyle as per the human environment and way of life. And man has the duty to support the modified needs of the lovely domestic animals with full devotion. An active and healthy pet reflects the love and affection the owner has for the pet.