Weird, Winter Pet Risks When Winter Arrives & Sickness Thrives
We always want what’s best for our pets and when the temperature begins to drop, our likelihood of catching the common cold or the flu rises exponentially. Usually we’ll try to steer clear of those who are infected and take recommended precautions, like getting a flu shot or pounding some extra vitamin C, to ensure we won’t suffer from these wintertime blues.
When it comes to our pets, there are some breeds of canines that are simply “snottier” than others. Imagine those “snorting” cute, little pugs, some tenacious terriers and other dogs that seem to sneeze or cough more than others. Still I can’t recall having a companion animal suffering from the symptoms of a cold or flu, and I’ve had plenty of pets in my lifetime. I’ve taken them to the vet for everything from extraordinary encounters with wildlife to simple illnesses or mild injuries.
When you search the internet for solutions to whether or not canines or cats can be afflicted with the common cold, one website may state these viruses are completely different, incompatible and aren’t transferrable to dogs, but could be dangerous to cats. Yet another will claim these illnesses can be spread to multiple types of companion animals including canines, rabbits, ferrets, cats and even rats. So what are we supposed to believe?
The best form of protection when it comes to protecting our pets comes with monitoring them to see if they’re showing any unusual symptoms that are outside the norm. Things like fever and pain may not be easily recognizable, but other signs that something could be amiss can include symptoms that may require immediate medical attention like:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- A lack of appetite or increased food intake
- An increase or decrease in their water intake
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Being listless or generally disinterested in normal activities
Although some of these symptoms seem to be two-sided at best, they are still a sign that your pet could be in trouble. If you ever see these types of medical or behavioral issues with your best friend, take them to see the doctor as soon as possible.
Even in the dead of winter, our animals could still be in danger of being dehydrated or becoming overheated. Although it seems odd during these colder months, be sure your pet has plenty of clean, fresh drinking water available to them at all times. For outdoor animals, a frozen water dish could mean they don’t have enough liquids at their disposal and could easily become dangerously dehydrated from a lack of drinkable water.
For indoor pets, our HVAC (heating and cooling systems) can cause them some serious discomfort in the form of dry, itchy skin, breathing problems and they can even become overheated. Keep on eye on them for excessive panting, salivation and other signs that they’ve had too much heat or not enough water. Dehydration or heat stroke can happen in January or July as these conditions don’t discriminate according to the weather.
Written by: Amber Kingsley