As winter rages on, it is good to think about adding a couple of layers of warm clothes to protect yourself against the bitter weather. Sometimes, we tend to forget about the comfort of our dog or cat. The fact is that weather conditions affect your pet just as much as it affects you. Therefore, you must prepare to offer the best care for your pet according to each changing season.
Caring for your pet in winter can be more involved than any season of the year. We have outlined some tips to help care for your pet in the winter.
The wellness exam is a vital undertaking as the winter approaches. It can help you know the measures to take during the winter to prevent some medical conditions, such as arthritis, that can worsen during cold weather. Among the many things that your vet will inspect is the hair coat to look for excessive shedding or abnormal hair loss.
Additionally, the vet will recommend the best care options for pets that suffer from heart disease or hormonal imbalance disease (like Cushing’s disease), which makes it hard for them to regulate their body temperatures.
Just as you would keep yourself warm, ensure your pet is kept warm. There is a common belief that our pets do not need extra warmth, but that is not true. If you were to go out with your pet, they would get cold. Be sure to grab a pet coat or jacket, especially for short-haired pets.
Pet booties can be helpful for your pet’s feet in the winter. Not only do they protect their paws from the harsh cold but also from harmful ice-melting agents and chemicals. Additionally, the protective paw gear will prevent cold weather damage such as cracked or bleeding paws.
Many pets gain a few pounds during winter since they spend most time lying indoors. For this reason, it is essential to watch the diet to avoid the health risks associated with extra weight. While you might think that more weight will help keep your pet warm, it is essential to weigh the risks. For instance, if your dog’s weight got out of hand and became obsese, you may ask your vet about a healthy diet for when the summer arrives, as they will be less heat tolerant.
Before you think about using de-icing agents at home, think about how it may affect your pet. Ensure that the de-icing unit you use is safe for your pet. Pets can swallow these ice-melting chemicals by licking them from their paws. As a result, they may get poisoned. Wipe your pet’s paws as soon as they come in as they might have picked up antifreeze or other chemicals that could be toxic.
If you notice your pet drool, vomit, or have a seizure, it could be that he/she swallowed these chemicals. Call the veterinarian immediately.
Just like humans, our pets are susceptible to hypothermia or frostbite. It is understandable that some pets are energetic and would want to be out most of the time. If your pets have to go out in freezing conditions, be sure to keep your eyes on them.
Frostbite is hard to detect. You may only realize after the damage is done. However, if you notice your pet shivering, slowing down or not moving, if they are anxious, or they start looking for warm places to burrow, it might be signs of hypothermia. Get your pet inside immediately and consult your veterinarian.
There are high chances that your pet’s skin can get cracked or flaky in winter. To avoid this, you can rub pet moisturizers on their paws or any other areas that you ask your vet about.
Your pet can be affected by extreme weather the same way as you. For that reason, it is advisable to treat your accordingly in the wintertime. Be sure to consult your trusted veterinarian for advice to care for your pet in different seasons.
Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency will help you care for your pet. For over 19 years, we have been providing top-quality and exceptional service to the people of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and Ventura County areas.