Do you have a case of the sniffles right now? You are certainly not alone. With the flu going around among other viruses, it is very easy to get sick this time of year. And the cold weather and widespread viruses don’t just affect you. They could cause your dog and cat to get sick as well. Obviously, we want our pets to be healthy all year round, and there are ways you can care for and prevent your pet from getting sick this winter. Let’s take a second and talk about the most common wintertime illnesses your pet may be susceptible to and how to prevent and care for them
The Most Common Ways My Pet Can Get Sick in Winter
According to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation, a website that compares and reviews different pet insurance, the cold weather itself is the biggest risk factor for pets. If you feel that it is too cold outside, your dog or cat will feel so as well. There is only so much a fur coat can guard against the snow/ice and frigid temperatures. Bring your pet indoors if you know the weather is going to be freezing or snow and ice are a possibility.
For potty breaks and walks, be sure to keep the time outside limited. In addition to that, some dogs might benefit from booties and/or a sweater to keep their body temperature up. Unfortunately, hypothermia and frostbite are the two most common wintertime illnesses and both can cause significant damage or even death in certain circumstances.
In addition to the cold weather and winter conditions, it’s not uncommon for your dog or cat to catch a cold – just like you. In most cases, a cold is relatively minor and can be treated at home. Put a humidifier in your pet’s favorite room and feed your pet warm foods and broth to soothe their throat. However, you may have to take young/old pets or pets with weakened immune systems to the vet just to be on the safe side. There, you may be prescribed medications for dogs or cats to alleviate the symptoms of the cold.
You should also know that dogs are susceptible to a condition called canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known by its more common name, kennel cough. In addition to being boarded up, inhaling smoke and the cold weather can cause kennel cough. You can tell its kennel cough because it will have a honking sound to it. Kennel cough is often treatable at home but should be treated by a vet if the condition doesn’t improve in a few weeks or if the dog is young, old, or has a weakened immune system.