Winter challenges for Pets
Pet Care

Winter challenges for Pets

By Sam Weeks | May 31, 2021

When the weather cools you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are little to no challenges for pets to bother with. In most parts of Australia, winter is mild. However, you usually won’t get away with needing some extra layers on yourself and your pet during winter no matter where you live. Even inner-city areas such as Brunswick can be extremely cold during winter. Here at Vet’s on Call, we are your at-home vets in Brunswick. We can confirm that winter can be quite dangerous for pets.  If you are concerned about the hazards that winter can pose for your pet keep reading to stay informed. 

Hypothermia

In colder areas of Australia hypothermia is a real risk. Some people may think that the fur that a dog has is naturalhgn fnger of hypothermia becomes a threat. Also, small, smooth hair dogs are at real risk.  Hypothermia happens when your pet’s body temperature drops very low and they are unable to bring it back up again. Signs of this include uncontrollable shivering, weakness and lethargy, low heart rate and dilated pupils. It won’t happen if your pet is ensconced in your lovely home but well, some pets are very quick and can run out the door just as you are shutting it. Or you may not have noticed that they have slipped outside. If they are left outside hypothermia can occur. A way to mitigate this is to have your pet wear a pet jacket while outside. 

Dehydration

Yes, you read that right. Many people think that dehydration is a problem only in the summer months. However, it happens quite easily in the winter months. When it is cold pets do not always want to drink water as they may have to go outside to relieve themselves. This obviously means that combined with heaters that can dry them out and they become dehydrated. They can also start to suffer from dry scaly skin as well. A way to mitigate this is to always have a full bowl of water for them and encourage them to relieve themselves somewhere that is sheltered from the full brunt of the elements if possible. 

Arthritis becomes worse

If your pet does suffer from arthritis winter is harder on their joints. You may find them sticking to one spot more often and taking a while to get up and move. They also may try to lick their joints. This is a sign of discomfort. Keeping your pet warm and comfortable without too much climbing of stairs is a great idea in the winter. The warmer months are easier on their joints and they will welcome the warm weather. 

Skin Infections 

When our furry friends’ little paws are outside in the rain and the mud they can develop skin infections. The best way to mitigate this is to wipe down your pet’s paws when they finish their exercise and bathe them regularly. 

The best thing to do during the winter months is to keep your pets indoors and access a lot of freshwater. Be careful of heaters on the ground as your pet may get too close to it and burn themselves. Also, invest in some thermal jackets for exercise. And make sure you get regular checkups with us, your at-home visit vets in Brunswick to keep your pets warm and safe. Here are Vets on Call we want to keep you and your pet healthy and dry!

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