Temperatures are dropping and we’ve pulled out our toques and coats to keep us warm. Most pet parents have their own list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to their pets. You’ve bought some cute new jerseys and jackets for your little friends. You’ve altered your pet’s routine to suit the shorter days and longer nights. But what is really the best for them? Many aging pets will experience joint problems – even arthritis. Symptoms flare up especially during frigid times, like winter. Learn how to keep your pet safe and healthy during the cold wintertime!
Here’s a quick checklist to help you prepare yourself and your cat or your dog for the winter.
Winter checklist for pet parents
1. Clean any snow-melting chemicals
Snow is friendly to your cats and your dogs. But the chemicals that we add to it to melt it are not. Make sure when they are done playing in the snow, you clean their paws and their bellies properly and remove any traces of snow from them.
2. Keep them layered
This one really varies from pet to pet. Some parents keep their pets dressed at all times which means that their natural immunity to bear cold temperatures is now low and they will need to wear extra layers. However, some parents don’t make their pets wear any extra clothing and try to keep their natural system working at its best. Even then, in extreme cold times, it is suggested to add at least one layer on their backs. Arthritis in cats and dogs starts to get worse around winters. If you have an old dog or cat, then keeping them warm is extremely important as their ability to regulate natural body heat is less responsive.
3. Keep ‘em leashed
Winters can be bad for their sense of smell. Unleashed walks around the house can become dangerous because your dog may not be able to sniff his path back to you as easily in the snow. Keep your windows locked to not let your cat out on random adventures. Winter is not a very good time to trust smells.
4. Keep them dry
Winters can be wet for most regions in Canada. It’s usually snow or it’s raining. Damp skin can cause irritations and start infections. Damp and cold fur can be worse for joint problems. Use a hair dryer or a clean towel to keep your pet dry at all times.
5. Brush regularly
They will be skipping the baths more often. The dead fur still needs to go. Make sure you brush them regularly and keep their coat smooth, untangled and clean at all times. Read about our holistic routine for cats and dogs to find more about pet grooming habits
6. Increase the intake of high protein foods
Protein helps keep the body warm, helping pets to endure the harsh winters and keep any winter anxiety or joint problems at bay, naturally. Cooked eggs, chicken, meat or fish are great around this time of the year. Make sure you don’t give your pets anything from this list.
7. Watch their winter weight
Most pet parents get lazy around this time of the year. It’s bad for them and worse for their pets. Especially with certain breeds of cats and dogs who are more prone to weight gain. Studies have shown that cats and dogs with weight problems have a shorter lifespan and experience joint problems or arthritis much earlier than their healthy and fit fur friends. So make sure you get your cat and dog enough exercise. Watch those table scraps. Include active playtime in their daily routines and get them plenty of exercise indoors.
8. Keep hiding spots dry and clean
However much you may try, pets will do their own thing. You might get them a cute bed from the pet store but they will probably hide under the kitchen sink. Well, if you can’t control where they hide in winters, ensure that you keep those spots clean and dry. Pets, especially cats, often hide under cars to enjoy the heat from the engine. Check your car thoroughly before getting into it and driving.
9. Take extra care of aging pets
Sore joints ache even worse in cold temperatures. You might need to help your old cat or your old dog move better. Invest in some herbal remedies like ours to help them cope with age-related joint problems and arthritis. Avoid strenuous physical activity like jumping and stairs.
If your pet still seems to suffer from mobility issues – we highly recommend the use of our natural pet supplements to keep them happy and mobile. Even if your pet suffers from issues like cat arthritis or joint problems in dogs, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done what you could to keep them happy during the frigid wintertime.
Winters are fun, really! You get to enjoy long cuddles in bed and watch your favourite TV shows together.Just like summers, this is also a great time to bond with your pet.