Our good friend Dr. Cherlene Lee, the principal veterinarian at My Vet in Sydney, has told us some very important things that all of us need to be aware of in the winter season. We might think that winter is just about getting through the cold days, however, we could forget about things like tweaking our pet’s diet for the season as well as having new health hazards, like heaters around the home, that could harm our furry friends.
1. Comfort food: Dogs and cats tend to conserve energy and stay warm by reducing their activity during the winter months when outside, and sleeping more when indoors. With your pets becoming Mr and Ms Lazybones this winter, it is important to adjust their diet accordingly - so no comfort eating allowed! Try reducing your pet's normal diet by about 10-20% in portion size to help them maintain their summer body!
2. Keeping warm: Would you enjoy being stuck outside without a jacket this cold winter? No? Well, neither does your fur baby! Try to keep your animals indoors, or if they still need to be outside, make sure they have a jacket or a covered and insulated place to hide in, as their natural coat is not sufficient to keep them warm in the freezing temperatures we have been experiencing.
3. Stowaways: Your feline fur baby who’s used to being outdoors will be craving for a nice warm place to curl up this winter. This normally includes the hood of your car, wheel arches and warm engine spots. To avoid any accidents, make sure you thoroughly inspect your car before driving off for work in the morning, and give the hood of your car a good thump before you hop in!
4. Winter blues: The cold winter can really wreak havoc on your senior pet's joints! As the weather has cooled drastically, you may notice that your little one is now having difficulty getting up in the morning or after resting for a long period of time. They may avoid using staircases or your kitty may not be jumping around as much as usual. These are all signs of arthritis that may not have been there in the warmer months! Visit your local vet for more information or even a checkup, as there is a lot that you can do to treat arthritis. Arthritis can be very painful for your pet, so please pay attention and take heed of this.
5. That warm and fuzzy feeling: While lots of our furry friends love to curl up near the heater on a cold winter's night, they can be dangerous! Not only could your pet overheat and burn their fur or skin, they can also be at risk of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. To avoid this, never leave your pet unsupervised, use a protective screen around your fireplace, check for gas leakages, provide good ventilation, install a smoke detector, and keep toys clear!
Dr Cherlene Lee is the Principal Veterinarian at My Vet Animal Hospital. She graduated from the University of Sydney and has worked in various rural and city based practices across NSW.
Cherlene thrives on small animal medicine and soft tissue surgery. Are you looking for a Vet around Waterloo, Sydney? Give Cherlene a visit at www.myvetanimalhospital.com.au
Mad Paws Pty Ltd