As your Raleigh vet hospital of choice, we wanted to drop by today with a few tips to help you to prepare for the coming colder months.
With yesterday’s warm spell, it’s easy to forget that the winter is coming, but in no time at all, we will be in the midst of a Carolina winter which is why we’re dropping by today with some tips to help you prepare for the coming colder months!
Whether you’re a dog parent or a cat parent, here are a few tips to keep in mind as those temperatures start to drop.
Raleigh Vet Hospital Tips to Prepare For the Coming Winter Temperatures
Make Sure Your Pet Has Had Their Annual Physical
Just like us, our pets can be more prone to illness as the winter months set in, particularly if they are aging. Before the colder weather sets in, we like to remind all of our clients to make sure that their pets have had their annual physical exam and that they are in fine form. If your pet is due for their annual physical or shows signs of feeling under the weather, take the opportunity to check in with our veterinarians before the weather turns south!
Stock Up On Your Pet’s Medication
As the colder weather sets in we sometimes find ourselves facing bad weather conditions. Whether it’s ice, snow, or just freezing temperatures, it’s hard to want to go out running errands when it’s so cozy indoors, so make sure that you’re prepared by stocking up your pet’s medications and preventatives when that freezing snap is on the way. Not only does this prevent you having to head out in the inclement weather, but it makes sure that if you get snowed in you have enough of your pet’s medication to get by.
Look at Winter Shoes or Boots For Your Dog
It may sound silly, but when snow and ice set in, it can cause a number of problems for your dog’s feet. Snow can cover up any number of dangers that can harm your dog’s paw pads, but snow and ice can also freeze between your dog’s paw pads making it uncomfortable for them to walk. Finally, when sidewalks are covered in ice and snow, the many chemicals we put down to make the walkways safer can irritate and even poison your pup when they track them indoors on their paws and try to lick them clean! The safest solution to all of these problems is to invest in a good pair of winter boots for your dog! Of course, your dog doesn’t have to wear them for a quick potty break, but when you head out for your walk, it’s always a good idea to keep those paws protected!
Get Your Dog a Coat or a Sweater
Not all dogs require additional coverage in the colder temperatures, but some do and with winter about to set it, make sure that you have adequate winter wear for your dog on hand! Your dog may benefit from winter wear if they are underweight, have hair loss, are a slender breed, have a thin or short-haired coat, are undergoing medical treatment such as treatment for cancer, or have a medical condition that influences their ability to regulate their body temperature.
Pay Special Attention to Aching Joints
Whether your pet is aging and suffering from arthritis or whether they have a health condition like hip dysplasia that causes aching, painful joints, be sure to prepare for some extra pampering during the cold weather. Talk to your veterinarian about any medications and supplements that may benefit your pet’s joints, but also take some steps at home to protect your pet’s joints. We recommend considering the following steps:
- Invest in an elevated bed to keep your pet off the ground and out of the draft.
- Provide extra blankets when needed to keep your pet warm.
- Keep your pet at a healthy weight, although it can be tempting to add a little extra padding for “warmth” there is nothing worse for your pet’s aching joints than being overweight!
- Walk slowly when you go for your walks and be sure to keep your dog’s feet protected with protective footwear to keep out the chill.
- Avoid walking on slippery surfaces that can cause your pet to slip and strain or damage their joints.
- Keep your pet moving! It’s tempting to snuggle up and hibernate in cold weather, but the more you keep your pet’s joints moving, the better it is!
Talk to Your Raleigh Vet Hospital About Your Pet’s Special Needs
Just like humans, no two pets are the same, so it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about any special needs that your pet may have as the cold weather moves in. Your vet will be able to work with you to develop a plan of action to keep your pet’s aching joints stable and to ensure that their level of pain is kept under control.
Let Your Local Raleigh Vet Hospital Get You Prepared For Winter!
Whether it’s stocking up on flea and tick preventative or dropping by for your pet’s annual checkup before the cold weather sets in, let our clinic help you to prepare! Just give us a call at (919)870-7000 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly veterinarians!