Tips to protect pets living outdoor in cold weather

13 November 2014|In Cat, Dog|4 Minutes
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Winter is getting close and temperatures decrease. Our four-legged friends will go out as little as possible in order to enjoy the warmth of the house. However if you have a cat who spends most of his time outside, or you have a little colony cats or your dog lives outdoors you have to find how to countervail the colder weather.

Although cats have a higher body temperature than human beings, it does not mean that they can better withstand low temperatures, since their coat is not always sufficient to protect them from cold and humidity. Therefore, the best solution is to provide them a protected place close to the less weathered side of a building – or even better inside the garage – where they can always take shelter. Make sure that the cat’s shelter is always dry and clean by changing or washing the cloths the shelter is set up.

Weather conditions also affect daily food needs, because pets consume more energy to maintain constant their body temperature. To compensate their higher energy request, it is necessary to adapt their daily ration by increasing it enough to maintain the pet’s ideal body weight. In these cases it is useful to use specific foods containing a higher content of fatty substances. If the food is offered outside the house, it is preferable to avoid wet food, whose leftovers could freeze if they are not consumed in a short time. It is essential that cats are never in want of water, especially kittens and senior cats or if they are fed with dry food. Water should never freeze or have a temperature not suitable for its consumption, as it may create digestive problems. Bowls specifically designed to constantly keep the water at a proper temperature are available on the market, but putting bowls in a sheltered place is enough. Where this is not possible the water supply should be minimal but frequent to avoid that it remains in the bowl. Water must be supplied only at a similar body temperature.

Also for dogs, tips are more or less the same. Obviously kennels must have the right sizes for the pet, preferably a few inches lifted off the ground and if possible supported by a wheel to move it to keep his place clean and free from dirt accumulations. The entrance of the kennel should be facing the opposite direction in which the wind is blowing and you can insulate the floor with blankets or old clothes.
In case dogs get wet because of the weather, it is important to dry them well, especially on their legs, to prevent from unduly falling of their body temperature, especially if they have a long coat. Also by brushing the dog’s coat regularly, it helps to renew his thick undercoat to guarantee a greater protection during winter. Even in this case changing the water frequently will prevent its freezing. Plastic containers are preferable compared to the metal ones, since the latter conduct cold.