Shiba Inu dog enjoying the snow outdoors for winter training - Knose

How to adjust your pet’s training during winter

Klarisse Galido - Editor in chief of Knose Pet Insurance

Curated by

Klarisse Galido

As the content curator of Knose, Klarisse is all about blending vet advice, practical pet tips, and stories from the pet-loving community. Her passion for pets brings to life the everyday joys and challenges of pet ownership.

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As the colder months approach, some pet owners are considering keeping their pets active with effective winter training. Training your pet comes with a lot of fun and excitement until temperatures drop. Winter in Australia can be unforgiving for us humans. Imagine what it would be like for our pets! So for those who plan to skip out on winter training, continue reading to learn how to keep up with it instead.

Impact of cold weather on pets

The cold winter temperature can lead to various physical and behavioural changes in pets. Dogs, for example, might be less active and more moody due to discomfort or heightened health issues like arthritis. Cold weather can also cause pets’ airways to narrow, introducing risks of respiratory problems. Frostbites can also occur during outdoor activities. 

Shiba Inu dog enjoying the snow outdoors for winter training - Knose
With harsh winter conditions, it is important for your pets to stay healthy while staying comfortable indoors. 

5 ways to continue your pet’s winter training

The good news is, there are simple yet effective ways you can adjust your pet’s winter training. 

  1. Adjust lengths of outdoor training

Training outdoors during winter requires thoughtful adjustments to keep your pet safe and comfortable. For instance, it would be wise to reduce the duration of outdoor training sessions. Instead, you can increase the frequency of these sessions to maintain overall activity levels without risking your pet’s health.

  1. Maximise indoor training 

Shifting some of your pet’s outdoor training to be done indoors during winter can help continue their education and exercise safely. For instance, you can keep potty training your dog or cat indoors. Utilise tools like puzzle feeders, treadmills designed for pets, and agility equipment that can be set up indoors.

A puppy training indoors during winter - Knose
Pay attention to your pets’ dietary and routinary needs in the cold season. 
  1. Consider nutritional values

Adjusting your pet’s diet to suit their altered winter activity level is crucial. Given that your pet will be less active in the colder months, their dietary needs may change. Other than adjusting their food intake, you can also consult with veterinary nutritionists who will help you tailor your pet’s diet to their current activity level.

  1. Consult with help hotlines 

Winter training can present unforeseeable accidents. And when the unexpected happens, planning a trip to the vet will just add to our worries. Consider making less trips to the vet during winter by calling 24/7 pet hotlines or vet hotlines that are offered by vet hospitals and pet insurance providers. This is particularly useful for mild cases, routine concerns or initial consultations. It is another line of defence in your pet’s wellbeing. Hotlines don’t replace your local vet, but some give you 24/7 access to expert advice and peace of mind for those times when a vet visit isn’t practical.

  1. Invest in preventative care

Regular veterinary check-ups are vital in winter to prevent issues, either minor or serious:

  • Conduct Regular Health Check-Ups: First, ensure that your pet insurance covers regular check-ups. Regular health check-ups can help manage potential health issues early.
  • Ensure Emergency Care: It’s also important for pet insurance to have robust coverage for emergency care, which can be a lifesaver during winter training when severe weather conditions make risks of injuries higher.
Winter training - Knose

Warmly caring for your pets on winter

Winter brings unique challenges to pet training. With thoughtful adjustments, you can ensure your pet remains healthy, active, and well-trained throughout the season. While winter in Australia lasts from June to August, there is a lot of time and opportunity for your pets to train.

Preparing ahead for winter training can be very fruitful. Adjusting your pet’s winter training may be a case-to-case basis. Of course, adjustments should be specific to the breed and your pet’s needs. It may be best to involve your local vet to be able to properly identify the best nutrition, medicine, and winter-related advice. It is ultimately your call on how to balance your pet’s health, your peace of mind, and pet training altogether.

Winter can also be a time of rest and relaxation. Pets and pet owners can use this time to do a recap of the training sessions and practise indoors or at home. Remember, resting is also part of training. Recovery is the key to keeping your pets energised and engaged in training sessions.

For more resources on training:

Post by Yvette Balita in collaboration with Knose Pet Insurance

Yvette Balita is a fur parent to Shinx, a 6-year old Jack Russel, along with multiple cats, and even chickens! Growing up with all kinds of farm animals in her neighbourhood, she takes pride in coming up with unique pet names. The animals around her also give her a grounded perspective on the natural cycle of pet life and pets’ needs. Drawing from her personal journey and hands-on experience as a pet owner, Yvette contributes insights for pet owners seeking to care and protect their furry family members. 

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