No winter blues for pets

KATHMANDU: With the onset of winter every household gets ready to beat the chilly weather. Taking out winter clothing, blankets and heaters to making sure children don’t fall ill during the season. However, in all these preparations people often forget that their pets also need special attention in winter. From their housing to food, you need to be careful about certain things during winter so that your pets are safe and sound.

• It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter months, but if this is not possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds.

• Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.

• Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm. Staying warm requires extra calories so feed your pet according to its needs. Talk to your veterinarian about your pets need for more food or a change in diet.

• Roaming cats, as well as house pets may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside.

• Remove ice, salt, mud from your pet’s coat, feet as soon as possible. If the skin looks reddish, white or grey in cold weather, may be scaly or peeling, suspect frostbite if the weather has been really cold. Talk to a veterinarian immediately.

• Most dogs and cats shed their summer coats in the fall before putting on their winter coat. Most years this is light and not very noticeable. Special attention should be paid to hair coats and daily or weekly brushing (as needed) should help your pet.

• Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh.