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Preventing Winter Ailments in your Dog

21st June 2021

People can find they suffer from chills, colds, and the flu during the winter season. Did you know winter illnesses can also affect your pets?

Respiratory Illnesses

While there are differences in the types of viruses that infect humans, the symptoms are similar: sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes.So how can you help your pet?You can care for them in the same way you would yourself – with warmth and fluids. You may even like to give them some low-salt beef or chicken broth as a treat. However, if  you  notice  that  your  pet  is  coughing  or  not getting better, separate them from your healthy  pets  and  consult  your  vet.  They  may require medication.


If you’re feeling the cold, it’s likely your pet probably  will  be  too,  depending  on  their  breed. Their ears, paws, tail and nose are all sensitive to the cold. When an animal’s body temperature drops below normal from prolonged exposure to the cold, they can suffer from hypothermia. Shivering and lethargy may follow and in extreme  cases,  coma  and  heart  failure.  Older  or  young  pets  as  well  as  those  with low body fat are at more risk. If you suspect  hypothermia,  seek  immediate  veterinary care.


In  colder  areas  of  Australia  pet  owners  not  only  have  to  keep  themselves  warm  but their pets as well. Cats and dogs love snuggling up close to a warm heater or fire, so burns can be common. If they lick their wounds  to  ease  the  pain  seek  veterinary  advice,  as  sometimes  this  can  lead  to  infection.  Prevent  burns  by  blocking  off  heater access and using fireguards.


When  older  pets  start  to  slow  down,  arthritis  may  play  a  part.  While  wintery  weather  doesn’t  cause  arthritis,  it  might  aggravate it. You may notice that your dog has  reduced  mobility,  a  limp,  and  trouble  rising  from  the  ground.  They  may  also  be  more  cautious  when  jumping  out  of  vehicles or navigating staircases. Cats can also suffer from arthritis, but the signs may be more subtle, they may be less eager to jump off or on furniture. There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are ways to ease your pet’s suffering, such as by  using  heated  beds  and  vet-prescribed  food  and  medication.  Ask  our  staff  for  advice and treatment options.