As we gear up for the winter season, it's crucial to ensure our furry companions stay comfy and healthy despite the cooler temperatures. We reached out to Dr. Ben Brown of Sydney Animal Hospitals for expert tips on keeping your dog happy and warm through the chilly months.
5 winter wellness tips with Dr. Ben Brown
- Make sure your older pet has an arthritis check-up. The colder weather can be hard on older joints and because our pets can’t talk it can be hard to know if they are suffering in silence due to osteoarthritis. With revolutionary new treatments now available for arthritis in dogs, now is a good time to make sure your older pet has a check-up to assess if they need help. Soft, comfy, warm bedding and jackets are a great idea to prevent your dog from getting stiff joints especially overnight.
- Take advantage of dental health awareness initiatives. Most vets run dental health awareness programs over winter with free teeth checkups and heavily discounted dental treatments. Prevention is much better than cure and a simple teeth clean for your dog now can help prevent painful tooth loss later in life.
- Regular exercise is key. It’s much harder to get out and about with your dog in winter with much shorter days and often unfavourable weather, however your pets health and behaviour will be much better off with regular exercise. Many pets gain weight over winter due to reduced activity which can exacerbate joint, cardiac and respiratory diseases. Your pet's diet may need to be adjusted if exercise is less frequent.
- Watch out for respiratory diseases and make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Just like us, respiratory diseases in pets are much more common with the change in season. Canine infectious cough (also known as kennel cough) is more prevalent at this time of the year so it’s important to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. When out walking with your dog be sure to rinse public water bowls well with fresh water before letting your dog drink so as to avoid transmission of disease.
- Ensure your dog has adequate shelter during cold, wet weather. Whilst summer is a great time to spend outdoors, during winter you may need to consider letting your pet indoors more often or provide additional shelter outside that is free of draughts and protects from wind and rain.
Give your local vet team a call to discuss any of the tips above or drop into any of our Sydney hospitals for advice.