As the cooler months roll in, we see more and more pets coming into the office with common winter illnesses. Even though our winters don’t get so cold here, pet owners must still be diligent about monitoring their pets for symptoms. In this post, we’ll explore a few of the most common pet illnesses during winter and how to handle them.
If your pet is experiencing a health emergency, please see our emergency services page for more assistance.
Even though it rarely gets below freezing here in central Florida, that doesn’t mean hypothermia isn’t an issue for pets! Early mornings and late nights outdoors can still cause pets to show signs of hypothermia, especially if they have a short coat, are older, or are immunocompromised. Signs of hypothermia include:
- Weak pulse
Always make sure your pets have a warm, safe place to sleep indoors or outdoors. Sometimes garages can even get too chilly! If your pet loves the outdoors but can’t handle the cold, consider getting them a cute sweater.
Dry Skin and Coat Problems
Just like humans, the drop in humidity during the cooler months can cause dry, itchy skin in pets. This often shows up as the pet scratching, and they may even show a dull coat. Good nutrition is the best prevention for healthy skin and fur, so talk to your vet about the proper diet for your pets. Omega-3 fatty acids are a great supplement to help combat dry skin, along with regular grooming. Minimize bathing during periods of dry skin, since they can make the problem worse.
Winter is bad for pets suffering from arthritis, especially older pets. If you notice any of the following signs in your pet during the cooler months, talk to your vet about arthritis and possible treatments:
- Difficulty moving around
- Difficulty standing up
- Noticeable pain when certain joints are touched
If your pet does have arthritis, make sure they stay at a healthy weight and get regular exercise. If lying down and standing cause pain, consider an orthopedic bed for extra comfort.
Some pets spend more time indoors during the winter months, which means they’re exposed to more indoor hazards. Space heaters, electric blankets, human foods, and holiday decorations are all potential hazards for your pets, so be careful when they’re around.
Prevent Common Winter Illnesses With Regular Checkups
Pets owners who get regular veterinary checkups for their furry friends are more prepared to identify and combat winter pet illnesses. Staying updated on vaccinations, implementing a good parasite control plan, and feeding a highly nutritious diet are all things covered during preventative checkups.
Call Affordable Pet Hospital Today!
At Affordable Pet Hospital, we’re here to help your pets stay as healthy as possible all winter long. If you’re in Tampa Bay, schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s winter health needs by calling us at 813-991-9898 or request an appointment online.