Cold weather is something our pets either enjoy or tend to avoid. Dogs, in particular, seem to get smitten by the snow. In contrast, pets like cats prefer to spend their winter days sleeping. Winter is one of those seasons that can present several hazards to pets. If you have a young pet or senior pet companion, you must be extra careful of their health. Frequent visits to the animal medical center Virginia Beach, is the best way to ensure you and your pet enjoys the dazzling beauty of the winter.
In this blog, we have highlighted ways the winter season can be hazardous for our pets.
In winter, deicing the porch and pavement is one of the most challenging tasks. While there are various deicing products available in the market, some can be harmful to pets. Even the good old method of using salt to deice can be dangerous for pets. Too much salt can irritate the skin and paws. Pets can fall sick due to licking off the salt residue from their fur and paws.
Drop-in temperature can make pets ill
Just because pets have fur and coat, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel the cold. Pets can catch a cold, just like humans. Certain breeds of dogs and cats like malamutes and huskies are better at withstanding the cold, but they can also experience health issues if not taken care of. Pets will small or short coats are more susceptible to getting hypothermia or frostbite. Paws, nose, ears, and mouth, or other exposed body parts are sensitive to cold. If your pet loves the winter wonderland and enjoys spending time in the snow, make sure they are not left outside for prolonged hours. When the temperature drops below the freezing level, keep your pets indoors as much as possible. Make sure their sleeping area is well insulated with heating pads and blankets.
During winter, slippery slopes can be dangerous to walk through. While cats and dogs are less likely to fall on the ice and injure, they can still slip and sustain ligament tears or bruises. It has been noted that dogs sustain cranial cruciate ligament ruptures (similar to an ACL injury in humans) due to slipping on the ice.
Besides this, crusty snow can damage your pet’s paws. Snow and ice can cut through the exposed areas like feet and cause injuries. Some lacerations can be so deep that it has to be stitched by pet care Virginia Beach veterinarians. They also suggest strict rest and bandaging to allow the wound to heal. If you live nearby lakes or water bodies that freeze during winter, make sure you don’t leave your pets outside unattended.
Pets that are sick or older often find it hard to regulate their body temperature in the winter. Diseases like diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and thyroid problems can make it harder for pets to control their body temperature according to the outside weather. Weight gain is another problem faced by pets during winter. Less exercise and outside time tend to slow their metabolism, making them susceptible to weight gain. You must ensure your pet has a healthy weight throughout the year. You can also incorporate some indoor fun activities to keep your pets entertained and active.