Dr Innis Cloete, owner of Kingsway Vet Centre, joined Bec and Jeziel with advice to help us keep our pets warm this winter.

Dr Innis says it’s best to avoid grooming your long-haired dogs or cats this time of the year, and that it’s a good idea to just hang on for six weeks or so and get through the coldest part of the year. But if you do have to groom them, say if their fur is matted and that sort of thing, you can still keep them snug by getting one of those cute little sweaters to keep them warm, and a comfy bed with some extra blankets.

This is the time of year when underlying arthritis and joint issues can come to the forefront. Dogs with low-grade arthritis can now start showing a bit of limping when they get up in the morning. It’s worthwhile having your vet check it out, especially for older cats, because they are absolute magicians in hiding symptoms.

If your pet has a wheat bag, double-check how warm it is before they use it. If you put it in the microwave for too long, it will have hot patches, which can burn them. “So a way to do it is like you do a baby’s bottle. If it’s too warm for you, it’s not a good idea to put it under any living creature.” You can also get heating pads made specifically for cats and dogs.

When cats are cold they tend to hide, while dogs will whine and constantly want to curl up into a little ball. Their tail, nose and ears will also feel cold. “So the body’s response is always to keep the core as close to normal temperatures, so it redirects warm blood away from those extremities to get to the centre.”

Listen to the full chat below.