Winter Health Check

Pet Health and Hygiene

Give pets a thorough health check by following these tips:

  • Feet: Paws can become damaged and dry from de-icing chemicals and ice. Salt will inflame delicate pads or snow may become compacted, causing discomfort. To prevent this, ensure that hair between pads is kept short and attempt to clean feet as soon as the animal is indoors. Try dog boots or paw wax for protection.
  • Temperature: Ensure pets don’t stay outdoors or in cold cars for too long and if necessary, get them a dog coat for protection. Dry dogs as soon as possible after time outdoors. Small animals can develop hypothermia within minutes, so check for symptoms like disorientation, lethargy or shallow breathing.  If you notice these signs, try to get the animal warm and take them to the vet immediately.
  • Age: Cold weather can cause elderly and arthritic pets pain in their joints. Try to keep watch while they are outside as a fall on ice could cause severe injury. To help keep pets mobile, ensure their bed is thick and kept in a warm room away from draughts. A Cod Liver Oil Supplement may be helpful in increasing the mobility of your pet.
  • Weight: Animals need to eat more during the winter months to regulate heat effectively, but be aware that they can become overweight. Weigh dogs frequently and feel for their ribs and stomachs. There should be a small amount of fat around the ribs but the stomach should dip inwards.
  • Coat: Look out for changes in coat such as greasy patches and bald areas as this could indicate illness or infection.
  • Skin: Run hands along the body to check for lumps and sores. Look for inflammation of the skin. Keep their water bowls full and check for dehydration by testing the skin on the neck. Pick up the skin, and if it remains tented instead of falling back into place, visit the vet as soon as possible. Skin can also easily dry out so ensure the dog is regularly brushed out to promote secretion of natural oils. Try Evening Primrose Oil Shampoo, Soothing EPO Creamor EPO Supplements to help moisturise the skin and promote a healthy coat.
  • Teeth: As always, check teeth for cleanliness and wear. Pay particular attention to gums as a change in colour is an indication of possible illness. Check that the colour returns quickly when pressed to ensure the blood is circulating properly.
  • Ears: Check ears regularly for signs of infection. There should be no odour or discharge, no inflammation and no pain if you touch them.
  • Eyes: Ensure the eyes are clear and open with no swelling or discharge. The pupils should also be the same size.
  • Immunity: Try a garlic supplement to help with immune health in your animal.

If you feel that something may be wrong with your pet, contact a vet as soon as possible.

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