Help Your Pets Beat the Winter Blues
With the holiday season winding down, it’s always a struggle to get back into a routine and avoid the winter blues. And that applies to pets as well as their owners.
By spending quality time with our pets and making the most of our friendship with them, we can all find the joy and energy to beat the blues.
Healthy food for pets
Animals often need more food in the winter months. This is because they spend a lot of energy on keeping warm, and they need the fuel to feed that energy (just like a boiler that needs to work harder to heat the house during cold snaps). Always give them the correct, high energy foods to get them through the cold spell.
Keeping moving is important all year round, but for dogs the winter walks may be shorter or less frequent than in the warmer months. Bear in mind that for a dog the need to exercise doesn’t change with the seasons – they’ll love sniffing through the snow every bit as much as they love chasing the scents of summer. If they have a space outside to run around in, this can help them let off steam before the next walk. You could try keeping a shorter walk interesting by taking it in a new location, or one you haven’t visited for a long time.
Exercise is important for all other pets, too. If you keep rabbits or guinea pigs outside, adding some excitement to their runs with a tunnel system adds hours of fun and exercise to those short winter days. Zippi runs for rabbits and guinea pigs are an ideal way of keeping these small pets content. You can add platforms, shelters and all kinds of twists and turns to keep them stimulated and happy.
For indoor cats, the Freestyle Cat Tree is a great option for helping them to fit in essential exercise. The customisable cat tower is perfect for cats of any ability, with a number of accessories to choose from, so that even the most active cats will stay entertained, whilst less mobile cats can take it easy.
Keep your pet’s brain active
By spending time with your pets, you can keep their minds active in various ways, depending on the pet. Talk to your pet birds; play with your dogs and cats; and give your hamsters, gerbils or other small mammals some stimulating new toys. Budgies, finches, canaries and parrots will enjoy getting to grips with a new bird toy, too. Nothing like a new cerebral challenge to beat the winter blues!
The toys will also help your pet entertain itself once everyone is back into their routines and the house is a falls quiet again after the holiday season.
It’s possible that your pet dog has been missing those trips to the park during the holidays and the cold weather. If you have a sociable dog, a trip to the park for a sniff around the old haunts and perhaps a meet-up with some old friends will give an added boost to the day. A doggy play date is another great way of combining socialising, fresh air and lots of moving around.
Keep your pets warm
In the average home in winter, some parts of the house or flat are warmer than others. Make sure your pet bird, hamster or gerbil isn’t in a cold or draughty corner, as a drop in temperature takes its toll on a small animal’s health and its ability to keep warm.
Extra bedding does the trick for rabbits and rodents. With cage birds, you need to keep a regular room temperature. You’ll notice when they’re cold, as they’ll fluff out their feathers and will be less active than usual to conserve energy. Covering the cages at night helps to retain heat.
A dog or cat is spoilt for choice when it comes to comfy corners and snug blankets. You can give your pet a real treat by ensuring maximum comfort with a Topology dog bed or Maya Donut bed. Cats and dogs that really feel the cold can be dressed in winter coats.
Rabbits and guinea pigs that live outdoors will need an insulated hutch to keep them snug during the winter. The Eglu rabbit hutch and the Eglu guinea pig hutch are the perfect choices here, as they keep your pets warm in the winter with a twin-walled insulation system, (and these hutches keep them cool in the summer too).
Keeping the indoor environment safe
When the winter winds and horizontal snow restricts you to the great indoors, you’ll need to keep the room warm, but not too dry. Spending all day in dry air can dry out an animal’s skin (and yours too). An open fire should always have a fireguard on it, and hot radiators and wood burning stoves need shielding from pets, too. Dogs and cats can easily scorch themselves by getting too close to the hot spot.
Keeping old dogs comfy
Cold weather has a tendency to make common conditions such as arthritis worse than usual. An older dog may need to take it easy for longer than usual after a run around in the park. Again, a super-comfy dog bed is what you need here, and some nice soft dog blankets.
Keeping yourself and your pets warm, active and healthy in the winter months is a surefire way to beat the winter blues!
This entry was posted in Dogs