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Posted on 12-01-2017

Protect Your Pet During the Cold Winter Months

Cold weather can have a negative effect on your pet. However, there are steps you can take to help ensure that your pet remains in optimal health during the cold winter months. Here is information every pet owner should know about their pets and cold weather.

husky walking on snow

Getting a Wellness Exam

One of the best ways to protect your pet against cold weather during the winter months is to take your pet to have wellness exams before the cold hits. This can help to ensure your pet is in optimal health leading up to the cold weather. If your pet is not in optimal health, your vet may be able to give you recommendations for helping to improve the health of your pet and what you can do to ensure that your pet stays healthy during this time of the year. 

How Cold Weather May Worsen Health Conditions

Cold weather may worsen certain health conditions in your pets. The most common health condition that can be worsened is arthritis. When the weather outside is cold, your pet's joints and arthritis can begin to act up, making your pet experience stiffness and pain. Keeping your pet in the heat, providing them with warm blankets, letting them rest and possibly giving them medications can help. 

Tips For Keeping Your Pet Safe

There are many ways that you can help to keep your pet safe during the winter months. The best tip for keeping your pet safe is to keep them indoors during the winter months. If you must take your pet outside, considering placing a sweater or jacket on them to keep them warm. After they are done outdoors, wipe them down to remove ice, snow and water and may decrease their body temperature. 

Conditions That May Affect Body Temperature Regulation

Some pets are more susceptible to dropping body temperatures and hypothermia than other pets. Elderly or geriatric pets fall in this category, as do pets that are not healthy. Dogs that suffer from hypothalamic disease and hypothyroidism may also have problems regulating their body temperature. 

When to Bring Your Pet to Our Vet

If your pet is shaking or shivering constantly, are displaying signs of weakness and have a decreased mental status, they may be suffering from low body temperature. At this point, you should be scheduling an appointment with a Germantown veterinarian. If your pet has these signs as well as dilated pupils, slow, shallow breathing, or being lethargic, you should be taking your pet to an emergency vet as quickly as possible. 

Protecting your pet during the warm winter months is important. If you need a vet in Collierville, Southhaven, Memphis or Germantown, turn to Forest Hill Animal Hospital. Call us to schedule an appointment today at 901-754-5007.

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