Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Problems for Pets in the Winter

Winter can be a wonderful time, however the cold weather can present a lot of problems for our pets.
Of course most people are aware of the risks as related to frostbite or just problems with being cold in general but there are other winter concerns and problems for pets.

Arthritis Pains

In cold weather pets with arthritis have more aches and pains then ever. Some people try to help their dog with arthritis pain by giving it aspirin, however aspirin can be risky for dogs, and should never be given to cats. 

There are better medications for helping pets with arthritis, including those with glucosamine and chondroitin.  I personally take glucosamine and chondroitin for my own arthritic pains and can tell you they work.  Some dog foods have these added but there are some claims that say when these are cooked into dog food they are not as effective and should be fed as a supplement. 

Aches and pains can also be relived by offering your pet a warm heated bed.

Dry Skin

Our pets also tend to suffer dry skin in the winter. You may have already noticed your cat or dog has more dandruff than usual. This can also make pets itchy and uncomfortable. Better food can help as can having a humidifier on in the room where the pet spends most of its time but there are also supplements you can buy to help improve your pets skin and coat in the dry winter months.

Other Winter Worries for Pets

Dogs can burn their paw pads by walking on ice and ice melting chemicals. There are special boots you can buy for your dog, as well as special de-icing chemicals you can use that will not burn your pet's paw pads.

Of course a sweater might also be something your pet would benefit from. Small dogs may even need a sweater for indoors when temperatures also cause our homes to be cooler. They particularly will need a sweater after having their hair clipped.

Be sure kids know not to let pets outside on cold days, kids often forget to let the pet inside and if left out too long a pet can get frostbite.  Make sure all younger family members know to ask an adult first before letting pets out when temperatures are very cold.

Remember that short nosed dogs have more problems with cold weather and their walks should be kept short. 

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