Keep pets’ water liquid
When it starts to freeze outside again, many animals suffer from it. Pets that are kept outside, such as birds and rabbits and other rodents, can especially suffer from the cold weather. Often these are able to withstand the cold, but other factors can make life very difficult for these animals. A big problem is often that the water freezes. Various solutions can be found against this, so that the animal has access to water again, instead of ice.
Perhaps the best-known home remedy for frozen water in animals is adding grape sugar. An advantage is that the water freezes less quickly. In addition, it gives the animal extra energy, which most animals can use in the winter months. The disadvantage is that if it freezes hard, the water will still freeze. Furthermore, it is not completely safe for every animal species. Too much grape sugar can be harmful to animals. Little is known about the precise long-term effects of grape sugar. It is therefore advisable not to put more than a small amount in the water, and to use it little. For example, use it for a maximum of a few weeks a year. Grape sugar is available at pet stores and over the internet. It is also for sale at drugstores, for example, but here it is not adapted for animals. For example, there is no dosage for the animal. Due to the fact that the water still freezes, it is advisable to change water with dextrose twice a day in case of frost, if it is frozen it must of course be changed more often.
Another way to keep the animal’s water dish free from ice is to insulate it well. Here, too, the water will still freeze, but this will happen much less quickly than it would happen without the insulation. Various things can serve as insulating material for a bottle. A sock, or several socks, around it is a solution. You can fill these socks with hay, for example, and fasten them with an elastic band. You can also cut an old insulation bag into strips. You attach this to the bottle. Bubble wrap is also a good insulator, but make sure that the animal cannot chew on it. If he is going to eat it, it is poisonous. You can insulate open drinking bowls by partially digging them in, either in the ground or in hay or straw. Always make sure that animals do not bathe with open drinking bowls. Many birds like this, but rabbits also want to sit in the water from time to time. This isn’t good for them when it’s freezing.
Give vegetables and fruit
Another way to provide animals with moisture is by giving fruit and vegetables. These contain a lot of moisture, and are also healthy for the animals. Make sure you don’t give too much. This can lead to diarrhea in the animal. Also make sure it is not in the cage for too long. Rabbits will certainly eat frozen food, which is not good for them. For example, give a piece of an apple every two hours, and remove the old piece.
Water at regular intervals
By giving the water at regular times, the animal knows when to drink. The water freezes for a while, but the animal can at least reach it regularly.
Give it lukewarm water
Although in theory hot water freezes faster than cold water, this is not always the case in everyday life. By giving it lukewarm water, it will take a little longer to freeze. This certainly works in combination with insulating the tray.
Do not fill the container completely
A practical matter to give when giving water is not to fill the bowl completely. Water that freezes expands, causing the drinking bowl to break. Filling the container to about three-quarters is often optimal. Too little water means that the weather will freeze more quickly.
Various electric heating elements are available. The advantage of this is that the water does not freeze, even if it freezes hard or if the container hangs longer. A disadvantage is that there must be an electrical outlet nearby. An extension cord is also an option, but you have to be careful that it is safe for outside. In addition, they are relatively expensive, and if placed too high can melt a plastic container. Furthermore, they are not available for every type of drinking bowl. Furthermore, heating elements are often only available for large containers, so they are usually used when several animals drink from them, for example in an aviary.
The best solution is a combination of the above factors. By filling a container up to three-quarters with lukewarm water with dextrose dissolved in it, and isolating this again, the pieces freeze more slowly than usual. Adding fruit and vegetables means that the animal has water at its disposal. An electric heating element can be a good solution for larger drinking troughs. It is also important to replace the tray regularly. You cannot escape this with frost.