There is no doubting winter is here, with temperatures dropping acrossAustralia to record lows we are all looking for ways to keep ourselves warm,but don’t forget about your pets!

While some animals might have a higher tolerance to cold weather, the majorityof Australian pets haven’t experienced such cold temperatures; PetSafeAustralia has released their top 10 tips to keep your pets safe and warmthrough these colder months.

1. Access to Shelter

Indoors with you is obviously best, however if this is not possible make sureyour pet has shelter that is dry and out of the wind. Make sure the area isfree from draughts and has adequate warm bedding for them to snuggle into.

2. Fashion with functionality

Some of us already dress up our fur babies but in winter investing in a petcoat or jacket, especially if they spend a lot of time outside, is not such abad idea! Just make sure that what you purchase does not have too manyzippers, ropes or tags that could be hazardous to the pet.

3. Avoid the Antifreeze

In colder regions of Australia where we might get frost or even snow on ourcars (Canberra for example) people tend to use antifreeze to clear the frost.As a consequence vets can report an increase in poisoning cases with pets thatcome in contact with the antifreeze. If you do need to use such poisons makesure it is well and truly away from your pets.

4. Cats and Cars

Cats love warm car engines in the winter, and often will crawl under (or eveninto) your car to sleep; however they can get stuck within the engine oraccidentally run over. If you cannot keep your cat away from your car makesure you knock on the hood or blow the horn before starting the engine orbetter yet, eyeball your cat before you drive away!

5. Lots of fresh water, even in Winter

It is a common misconception that pets drink less in cooler months. Pets drinkjust as much all year round! Be aware however if you do live in a particularlycold part of Australia that the water bowl doesn’t freeze over. A frozen bowlcan lead to thirst and dehydration quickly.

6. The diet can wait till spring

Cold weather means more calories burned to keep warm. Make sure your pets havea ready supply of high-quality food, but keep track of their weight. You don’twant your pet to pack on pounds during winter, but you don’t want your pet tolose weight either. Save the diets for springtime, and make sure your pup getsenough calories to stay warm and maintain a healthy weight.

7. Watch for the itch

Winter can be dry and uncomfortable for indoor cats. The dry air can lead to adry coat, and that can be itchy. Keep a humidifier going to maintain the rightlevel of humidity and help keep everybody comfortable – maybe even you too!

8. Pet Proof the House

Winter dangers can also be inside the house. Make sure that you never leaveyour pet alone in a room with a space heater switched on. Dogs can kick andmove in their sleep just like humans; and could accidentally knock the heaterover, accidentally starting a fire. In addition don’t allow your pets to sleepon electric blankets as they can potentially burn or itch their skin.

9. Exercise in the sunlight

Nothing warms up a pet, or ourselves, in the winter months then a brisk walkin the bright sunlight. During these colder months try and take your dog for awalk when the sun is out.

10. Moisturize

Just like us hoomans, our pet’s skin can get dry and flaky in the winter. Byadding a skin and coat supplement to their food can help, or even usingcoconut oil on their skin and coat every couple of days.

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