We are now in the middle of winter and the holidays festivals that were warming our spirts are over and now the cold and snow is the only thing left for the next 2-4 months (remember April 2018?).  Yes, welcome to Wisconsin!  Our pets like it or love it, puppies are fascinated by the snow and how this strange white fluff falls from the sky and they can roll/burrow it without getting dirty and when covered in it, it changes to the same stuff they drink from the bowl.  The cats look out and say, “oh heck no!” and curl up on the beds or by the heat registers, praising their good fortune to be protected.

But with the good, comes the bad.  The cold weather stiffens the joints, making it more difficult to move/get up in the morning.  This will require joint health products containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin, like Dasuquin Advanced or Movoflex if still stiff with typical joint products.  It is important that amount of the combination is 20 mg per lb. to be effective with loading dose the first 4-6 weeks.  An anti-inflammatory (referred to as non-steroid anti-inflammatory=NSAID) will be prescribed if the joint products are controlling after examining the pet.

Paws need to be cleared of snow and trimmed shorter to avoid the snowballs that cause temporary lameness and on cold sidewalks the pads protected with booties or sprays that toughen the pads for the harsh weatherand wipe/drytheir feet after salted walks.  Allergies don’t always go away in winter, some our pets also suffer from indoor allergies: dust and dust mites, pollens and molds in the air ducts (time for a duct cleaning!).  The dry air of the season can also dry out noses, pads and skin.  So using skin lotions, spray on moisturizers, using humidifiers and petroleum jelly can help, but a fatty acid supplement can help moisturize from the inside over time.

The ugly is the unfortunate deaths of outside cats when they crawl into the engine compartment of cars which can be prevented by rapping on the hood each morning or night before starting the car.  Also, don’t leave pets left outside unattended for more 10-15 minutes to prevent hypothermia (low body temperature).  An animal can only recover their internal temperature until it reaches 97 degrees so constant checking is essential.

Courtesy – Dr. Sanjay Jain