We humans sometimes forget that many of our pets get just as accustomed to the comfortable climate of the indoors. It is important to remember that just like some human health conditions can get worse in the cold, so can health problems in pets. Here are some ways you can keep good pet healthy this winter.
Take your pet to the vet for a pet health care check-up when the cold nights come in. The main thing to remember for your pet’s winter health is that most conditions aren’t seasonal, so don’t forget that you need to keep up with all the routine preventative care such as worm and flea treatments as well as vaccinations.
Fleas in particular are often mistakenly regarded as a summer problem but bear these three facts in mind if you’re tempted to forgo your pet’s winter flea treatment:
- Flea pupae can live for up to one year in homes
- 95% of flea eggs, larvae and pupae live in beds, rugs, carpets and sofas – not on your pet
- One flea can multiply by 1000 in just 21 days
If your pet has medical conditions that might get worse in the cold such as arthritis, it will be invaluable for you to provide protection and care to keep your pet healthy.
Keeping Your Pet Warm
Dogs and cats do feel the cold and conditions such as arthritis can be affected by the cold. If your dog or cat seems stiff, reluctant to jump or in pain, take them to the vet as these are all possible signs of arthritis.
Rabbits can build up thick fur in the winter and have soft fur pads on their feet, so they don’t need to come inside. However they don’t like draughts so it is best to move hutches to a draught free spot or to put a hutch cover on overnight to keep out the cold and draught. Hay or dry straw are great insulators as bedding in their hutch – better than a blanket which they could chew.
If you leave your pet outside for it is important to ensure they have easy access to unfrozen water at all times and also access to a kennel or other shelter containing suitable bedding so that they can keep warm.
If their water freezes they are more likely to drink out of nearby puddles and gutters which can contain chemicals like antifreeze or extensive amounts of salt which can be dangerous to your pet.
No matter how thick it seems, don’t let your dog run on the ice – both it and you run the risk of falling through.
As the pet’s owner, you should know them best and will be able to notice even the smallest change in their behaviour – if you’re worried at all talk to your vet as soon as possible.
Pets can have a wonderful time during the winter getting out and about or snuggling up in the warm, and especially if they get accurate pet health care.