Caring for your pets this winter

2016-05-03 06:00

WINTER has arrived in Durban, and just as we hall out our thick winter woollies and blankets – so should you also pay your pets some extra special attention.

Here are some tips on how to keep them warm and snug during the colder months:

-Ensure that your animals have access to shelter and warm bedding at all times. Preferably, allow them to sleep indoors.

-If your dogs live outside during winter, make sure that the kennel is waterproof, and position the kennel so that it is not directly facing the wind and rain. Raise the kennel slightly off the ground to prevent dampness.

-Don’t keep puppies, kittens or other young animals outside in winter as they have not yet built up a resistance to the cold. Keep them indoors, in a warm environment.

-During this time you can also add a little extra food to your dog or cat’s daily meals. The cold weather makes them burn up more energy, and extra food will help them to meet these demands.

-Continue exercising your animals – don’t stop because of the weather. Ensure to dress warm and enjoy the outdoors with your pet.

-Don’t forget to prevent your animals against fleas and ticks, even in winter. These parasites are present all year round.

In winter they seek out warm places to live and will be more than happy to irritate the skin of your beloved pet.

Don’t stop tick and flea control, however don’t dip your dog in the cold. Rather use an alternate product that can be applied to dry skin.

-If your dog has a short coat and is kept outside, provide him/her with a jacket for warmth.

-When using a heater, ensure that the wiring is out of reach for your pets. Pets should not be left unsupervised with any heating paraphernalia.

Do not keep dogs on a chain outside in the cold.

The SPCA opposes the chaining of dogs. Chaining a dog deprives the animal of its natural right to freedom of movement, it is cruel and causes mental and physical suffering. It may even lead to the death of a dog.

A chained dog does not have the ability to develop or function normally (mentally or physically); protect itself from the elements or defend itself.

It is a contravention of the Animals Protection Act (No 71 of 1962) to chain an animal under conditions that cause it to suffer regardless of the reason(if a dog has to be restrained for a valid reason, the only acceptable method is a running chain. - Supplied

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