In the blink of an eye, the leaves have turned beautiful shades of gold, orange and brown, the days have grown much shorter and the night air has a distinct chill… Yes, at the time of writing Winter is very near and that means a few months of hibernating ahead across Victoria!
Whilst many people chase the sun further north this time of year, there’s also a fair few of us who embrace the opportunity to slow down and spend cosy days indoors with our loved ones, including our dear furry friends. And although our pets have thick coats to keep them warm, they can also suffer bouts of the Winter blues. That’s why this month The Pets Hotel team share a few simple tips to keep you all extra cosy and comfortable for the next little while : )
- Keep them extra warm indoors: The first and most obvious tip of all is to keep your pets indoors (at least most of the time) during the cold and often wet Winter months, especially overnight when temperatures across Victoria can fall to the low single digits. This advice especially applies to short-haired dogs like Beagles, Boston Terriers and Greyhounds who don’t have the extra fur to keep them insulated from those harsh Winter chills. Likewise for small puppies and kittens who can’t regulate their body temperature as well as their more mature counterparts.
- Make a cosy indoor space for your pets during Winter
- Keep them indoors overnight to avoid the harsh winter chill, even for breeds with thick coats
- Keep up their exercise! Whilst this may sound contradictory following our first point, keeping your furry friends active through regular exercise during the long Winter months is just as important to maintaining their health and wellbeing as is ensuring they’re dry and warm. Whether it’s a leisurely daily walk around the block for your dog or letting your kitty bask in the gentle winter sun (on those wonderfully clear Winter days we occasionally enjoy), a little exercise will not only warm them up and ward off the winter blues, it will also keep those excess kilos from all that tasty comfort food at bay. If you’re worried about them catching a cold on those chilly days, The Pets Hotel team recommends investing in a top-quality RSPCA Dog Coat for extra comfort.
- Ensure your pets still get plenty of exercise, especially on sunny days
- Exercise will not only warm them up, it will also keep off extra kilos!
- Invest in a quality Dog Coat for extra outdoor comfort
- Add layers to their sleeping space for extra comfort: Just as we pile on extra layers to our own beds as Winter draws near, your furry friends will be wagging in appreciation if you do the same thing for them! Whether it’s another blanket or two, or even a microwavable heat pad for those exceptionally chilly nights, giving your pets TLC in the form of a higher thread count is sure to make their sleeping space feel extra cosy, aiding a well-earned rest for both of you. Another handy tip is to move their bed or indoor kennel away from cold drafts (which tend to flow near doors and windows) and invest in a raised bed : )
- Add extra layers of blankets to your pet’s bed/indoor kennel
- Consider microwavable heat pads for extra cold nights
- Consider investing in a raised bed too
- Hydration + healthy diet is king! Despite Winter typically being a wet and cold season in Victoria, our pets still need plenty of water and healthy food to keep them going, especially as harsh indoor heating can be quite dehydrating. You’ll also want to maintain a well-balanced diet of nutritious meals, which combined with regular exercise will keep them in good shape areas, check your pets water bowl in the mornings to make sure it isn’t frosted over!
- Keep up their water intake through Winter, indoor heating can be harsh
- Maintain a well-balanced diet too
- Don’t forget those regular vet visits: This brings us to our final tip– don’t forget those regular 6-month check-ups at your local vet, especially in Winter when seasonal ailments like the cat flu, canine arthritis and various skin problems (from too much time in the rain) can often arise. On that note, we highly recommend the RSPCA website and AVA (Australian Veterinary Association) directory as excellent places to start if you need to find a fully-qualified practitioner close to home.
- Keep up your regular 6-month vet visits
- Watch for signs of seasonal ailments, including cat flu and canine arthritis
Considering a break somewhere sunny this Winter and need a warm, cosy place for your furry friend to stay? Contact our friendly team at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286 today!
For shorter stays, we also offer our very popular Doggy Daycare service at both addresses, complete with climate-controlled rooms and plenty of blankets for a cosy midday nap.