Free Press Journal

Indore: Protect your pets from winter chills & keep them healthy


Indore: With light rains and temperature has suddenly changed the city weather, it is time for taking extra precaution for dogs. While St Bernard, Akita, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and similar other winter-bred dogs get healthier in low temperatures, other breeds like Great Dane and Labrador face difficulty during the cold condition.

Similar traits are found in domestic cats also. Most cats in India are prone to cough and cold during winters. Similar tips are also suggested for rabbits and other pets.

Inhalation of steam best for cough

In the last couple of years, Indore has rain followed by winters that results in steep variations between wet and dry weather. This sudden drop in temperature often results in blockages in pets by cough.

Exposure to low temperatures, cold winds and rains increases infections in pets. Normally, we prescribe antibiotic dosage with cough syrup. These dosages are determined based on body weight, breed and age of the animal and hence, we always suggest examination before prescription.

Another issue that crops up is that most pets do not take in dosages easily, so we prescribe injections. The best way to keep your pet’s nasal cavity healthy is by ensuring inhalation of steam with prescribed tablets.

Comfortable beds for winters and skin care

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and rain can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. Petroleum jelly on paws can be used.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide them more warmth. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturising shampoo and/or rinse. Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime.

Feeding your pet a little bit more during the winter months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink which will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry. If they are not taking water, give them soups in the diet. Avoid curd and rice in night. Make a comfortable bed for the pet. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep. Keep them warm with jackets, sweat shirts or coats. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Little honey in diet and fish based diet will help pet in healthy condition in winter. Dogs feel more pain in joint if suffering from arthritis like humans. So make sure that your pet’s joints remain healthy in winter season with some exercise and proper diet (low calorie and low fat diet). Take your pet to vet if he is suffering from arthritis for pain relieving medication.

Some common mistakes

Frequent hot baths for pet

Keeping their overall food intake same or increasing it exponentially

Limiting pet to house and verandah

Wrapping pet in jacket all the time

Skipping grooming

Keep your pet fit with these tips

Give your pet a bath once in 15 days with lukewarm water

Groom regularly as it increases circulation

Increase calorie intake by 200 calories

Do not expose to severe cold weather

Put up jackets and woolens only at night as too much coverage can cause skin diseases

Ensure that your pet gets regular exercise and increase it to beat laziness

Give sun exposure as precaution to pneumonia

Eggs and soyabean chunks best source of protein for pet, ensure their intake everyday

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