Winter Care For Pets : Illness and Safety TipsExotire Exotic Pet Care
Winter Care For Pets
Many owners believe that their pets can tolerate the cold as they have furry coat. With fewer daylight hours and cold, you may find that your pet does not get as much exercise as he does in any other weather. It is a good idea to monitor his weight and diet, to stop him putting on weight. If you are walking in low light keep a fluorescent jacket with collar.
Avoid these common illnesses this winter.
Hypothermia is low body temperature caused by exposure to cold. It occurs when dog spends too much time in cold temperatures. Symptoms of hypothermia :-
Severe hypothermia is life threatening.
In frostbite tissue gets damaged due to extreme cold and varies from minor to severe. It depends on pet’s size, age and fur thickness. Snow or ice filled fur/skin puts the risk of developing frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite :-
- Pale & hard skin
- Blistering on the skin
- Darkening skin
Just like Us, pets can catch little cold in the winter. A slight cough, wet nose, little fatigue or lethargy, indicates minor upper respiratory infection.
Pets are too susceptible to infectious tracheo-bronchitis, also known as kennel cough for the way it spreads. Bacteria and virus are responsible for the infection, often both at once, kennel cough vaccines are available to take care of this severe infection.
Here are some safety tips to help you keep your dog in top shape over the winter months :-
Walk outside when the sun shines
With lesser light hours in winter, dog does not gets much exercise as compared to summer. Spending time outside in sunny day should be always considered as it brings added benefit by providing vitamin D.
Some dog breeds carry thick fur which keeps them warm, even in cold temperatures, but dogs with thin coats should wear a sweater or coat when taken out for walks. If dog feels more cold, early morning/late evening walks should be avoided. Take them on walk in the late morning/early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer. While walking in low light/darkness consider using these :-
- Fluorescent jacket
- Led collars
- Flashing light attached to dog’s collar
- Identification disc such as microchip
NOTE :- Coats can not prevent frostbite on the ears, feet or tail. So even with a cozy coat, don’t spend much time in freezing temperatures.
Antifreeze (Ethylene glycol) usually leaks from a car radiator, it’s ingestion can lead to very dangerous situation. It is sweet tasting and palatable chemical spills whose even a small quantity can cause serious kidney damage. The first signs of intoxication can be that your dog appears ‘drunk’. If you somehow came to know that your dog has ingested ethylene glycol, contact your vet immediately. Keep your dog out of the garage and off the driveway where they may come in contact with antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.
Keep a regular check on dog’s paws as cold can harm up in the space between toes. Just as cracks which develops in our feet, dogs also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has fur on their feet, trim the hair to prevent ice buildup between the pads. Winter salt and other chemicals which can be found on the city sidewalks also burns paws and is highly toxic, consider removing the salt if don’t want them to lick it off. If your mate shows signs of discomfort, consider use of boots to protect their paws.