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Hope we did because winters can be equally fun and hard for pets as they are for us. Have you noticed that your pet sits an extra hour in the sun or on the dirty door mat instead of sitting directly on the floor these days? Take off your slipper and feel the ground. It’s cold, isn’t it? Winters can be really taxing for your pet if they aren’t physically armed for it. And that’s what we are going to discuss today.
Clothing for animals is not just for the fashion conscious pet parents but a sign of some responsible parenting too. Especially if your pet is from out of town, like places which are warmer than yours. Also pets with barely there fat under their skin, a short coat or a short haircut find it hard to stay warm. How do you know if your pet falls in that category? Does it look like this- if yes then you need to stop hogging the blanket and let him cuddle in.
Also, if you your dog is furry like a Spitz or a Pomeranian and you find them shivering that means even with all that fur they need more protection. Cold winds can blow away the warm air trapped in the pet’s fur making it susceptible to shivers. Secondly, if the fur gets wet it’s not able to fluff itself and trap warm air making clothing essential. Make sure to first dry the fur completely and then put on the clothes.
But if your pet is a big double coated beast, doesn’t mean you leave him out all the time. Fur gives insulation and it won’t work if there is no warmth in the first place to be saved by the body. An extremely furry dog will eventually run out of warmth if kept in the cold for long hours. So make sure you don’t judge the pet from just its size and fluffiness as its defence against chilly weather.
Another point to keep in mind is, dogs with lowered immunity due to disease and age as well as some hormonal disturbances like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) (which rid the dog of its fur) make it hard for the animal to keep itself warm, take extra care of such pets.
So how do you choose the right clothes? The body parts that need to be measured for that exact size are the neck, chest, distance from the neck to the waist. Jackets and sweaters should end at the waist. And they should be well fitting especially underarms and around the neck. Too tight or too loose clothing can create discomfort. Also check for zippers, tags, buttons which your pet might fancy chewing and end up choking on or hurting himself. Dogs should not wear pants. Pets paws are the most exposed as they come directly in contact with the ground. Places where it snows, it is essential to cover up their paws with booties, which are snug but not too tight.
Cats are no different when it comes to fighting the weather. Even though they are very independent animals, it only makes them more prone to bigger hazards. They seek warm places to nap and in winters it is a tad tricky. They might end up curling in risky spots like near car engines, dryers or heating appliances so it’s important that cats have proper bedding and clothing so that they do not go looking for warmth.
Make sure not to get carried away and mollycoddle your pets with excessive clothing because animals know exactly how to modulate their body temperature they may need your help a bit but eventually they know it better. Make sure you keep an eye on them while they are all dressed up. If the clothes have got wet take them off immediately because while some docile pets might get hypothermia obediently wearing it others might suffocate themselves trying to get out of it. Wet or not it’s important to study their body language to know if they are comfortable in their clothing. Pets might not need clothes throughout the day but only during certain times when the temperature drops the most.