New Delhi, Nov 25 : Its nice to snuggle up with your furry friends in the winter, but as the temperature drops, animals need different care to remain comfortable and active.
Devanshi Shah, founder and CEO for PetKonnect and Shirin Merchant, a canine behaviorist, share some useful tips
* Keep the beds dry. The cold floor of your apartment is terrible for your pets to sleep on. A cozy little bed with a blanket and pillow can keep them warm during cold winter nights. Keep the beds dry, as in winter things take longer to dry up which can cause skin infections among other problems. If your dog stays outside, give them warm shelter.
* Keep them cladded. Just like humans, some pets too need to wear warm clothes in winters. Unlike stray and wild animals, pets that grow up in homes sometimes, when not exposed to outdoor conditions, do not develop a tolerance for them. Especially if your dog is thin-coated, make your dog wear something warm, more so if it is shivering.
If you are putting a sweater or muffler on the dog, monitor them because sometimes dogs don't like them and they chew them up. Ingesting wool could be dangerous for the animal. Especially for puppies, who have less body mass for heat generation, often would benefit from a doggy sweater when headed outside.
* Fur's the way. When we can be overprotective parents and not expose our pets to outside conditions, for fear of their safety, it's actually crucial for pets to get immune to weather conditions in their resident geographies. Exposing them to cold conditions helps grow their fur thicker and develop a resistance to the cold. However, home pets do not enjoy the conditioning of wild or stray animals and so should be brought back indoors frequently to avoid any weather-related onsets.
* Shield the paws. Keep track of pets' paws during winter. In cold conditions, paws are prone to cracking due to dryness and even bleeding in some severe cases. It's important to keep paws well moisturized to avoid such ill-effects as they can lead to serious pain making it difficult for pets to walk. Add a little fat to the diet so the coat remains moist in the winter. Consider purchasing a snout balm and a paw balm.
* Keep away cold water or food - This is an important practice. Only give room temperature water and warm food to your pets. Coldwater and food during the harsh winter can make them fall sick and catch a cold.
* Avoid taking your dog out at times when it is very cold or smoggy. In places where the pavement could be very cold, don't walk your dog on that directly, because some dogs have sensitive paw pads.
* If you have heaters, be aware because your dog could get burnt if it goes very close. If it's dangerous for a child, make sure it's out of the dog's reach as well.
* Be alert and aware. If the pet is shivering, whining seems weak or starts looking for warm places to burrow, you should get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. In case you are suspecting that to be the case, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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