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The cooler weather brings a change in human lifestyles with more time spent indoors, heating turned on and winter woollies worn.

Pets also need adjustments to their lifestyles during the cooler weather. All pets deserve a
dry and warm, draught-free area and some may even appreciate warm winter woollies.

Cats are masters at seeking warmth and will appreciate a cat basket by the heater or a cosy box with warm bedding in the shed or garage. Indoor cats like a window-ledge or
chair where they can catch the warmth of the winter sun through the window during the
day, while outdoor cats will seek out the sunshine on top of a fence or roof.

Dogs vary so much in their coat types that the amount of warmth that needs to be provided
by the owner varies. The very sleek breeds have very little coat to keep them warm, and some, such as Whippets and Greyhounds, have very little fat covering so feel the cold quite badly. These breeds will appreciate a dog coat to keep them snug. A coat will keep some breeds drier if they are taken for a walk in the rain, but dogs must never be left to wear a wet coat.

Many dogs become uncomfortable in a heated house and will seek out the cooler tiled
areas. If the house is heated make sure that the dog is comfortable with the temperature or
can go to a cooler part of the house if it desires.

During the winter the amount of exercise given to the dog may be less than during the summer months due to the reduced daylight hours or the weather, however for the athletic
breeds it is important to try to fulfill the dogs exercise needs.

If a dog returns from its walk wet and muddy it should be towelled dry or dried with a hair
dryer, but never left wet. If a dog is living, or has been walking in a muddy area regularly
check between the pads of the feet to ensure that balls of mud have not formed which will
make walking very painful. Outdoor dogs must have a dry and warm kennel and a deep
bedding of straw will help keep the dog clean, warm and dry.

During the cold weather some dogs, such as the fine coated breeds, may require extra
food to maintain their weight, while others which have their exercise limited may require
less food to prevent them gaining weight.

Cage birds are totally dependent on owners to provide a comfortable environment. If the
bird and cage are put outside to get some winter sun care must be taken to see that the
area is protected from chill winds and that the bird is brought back into shelter before the
sun goes in and the temperature drops. In the house the bird should not be placed near

Birds kept in aviaries outside must have protection from the rain, wind and frost. Although the more northern areas of Australia may not have as definite change in the seasons as the southern states, animals are very sensitive to temperature change and may still need some extra consideration during the cooler or wetter months.

Further Information
  Products - Dog Coats
  Products - Bedding and Pet Heat Pads
  Products - Bird Supplies

Petcare Information and Advisory Service

Last Update: 31/07/08 10:27 Views: 8714

OzPetShop - Pet Products, Supplies and Accessories