Even southern California pets need help preparing for fall and winter!

Part of the reason we all love living in southern California is that the weather tends to be pleasant with few extremes. Winter certainly isn’t as harsh here as it is in, say, Fargo ND! However, the change of seasons does affect pets. Here are some tips for helping your pet stay happy and healthy in fall and winter.

Get a Fall Checkup for Outdoor Pets

If your pet lives outdoors, you should visit the vet for a checkup before the weather turns cold. Changes in age and health conditions can affect your pet’s ability to stay happy and healthy outdoors during the winter, so don’t just assume that because your pet was okay outdoors last winter they’ll be okay this winter as well. Get a professional opinion!

Keep Pets Dry

Winter brings rainy weather, and pets need to be kept dry. If your pet lives outside, be sure that their sleeping area is raised up off the ground, and try to avoid using blankets or rugs for bedding as these can draw moisture and feel damp and cold. Use straw or cedar chips instead. You may also want to put a flap over the door of the sleeping area to keep out the wind.

Provide Extra Calories if Needed

Staying warm during the winter requires extra calories, so be sure to provide additional food for your outdoor pets. One of the expert vets from Pet Medical Center can help you determine how much extra food may be needed.

Brush Your Pet Often

As the seasons change, many pets will shed their summer coats and begin growing in their winter coats. By brushing your pet daily or weekly as needed, you can help with the shedding process. This will make your pet happier and it will also help keep your home from becoming coated in shed pet hair. If your pet goes outside, brush them afterwards to remove mats and prevent trapped dirt from causing skin problems.

Keep an Eye on Male Cats

Perhaps due to the fact that they start drinking less water as temperatures cool, fall is the most common time for male cats to develop bladder stones. If your cat seems to be straining to relieve himself, visit the vet right away.

Avoid Holiday Hazards

The winter holidays are a joyful time, so don’t let the season be marred by a pet accident! Many types of decorations, like holly, mistletoe, strung lights, glass ornaments, candles, spray on snow, etc. can be harmful to your pet. Keep decorations out of pets’ reach and be sure to cover up or hide electrical cords to avoid exploratory chewing.

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