Pets are wonderful and can add a lot to the families they join. That said, being a pet owner comes with many responsibilities. One thing that must be considered closely is winter care. When the cold weather sets in, it’s important to make sure that your pets are prepared. It’s wise to speak with a veterinarian about proper care during the colder months. If you are looking for a vet in Fort Mill, SC, contact us at Fort Mill Animal Hospital.
Let’s look at some of the specific considerations regarding winter pet care.
How a Veterinarian Can Help You Approach Winter Care
Cats, dogs, and other pets can’t easily communicate with their owners. While a human member of your family can let you know what’s wrong, with pets, you’ll have to keep a close eye out for emerging problems in the winter.
Mammals can warm their body. However, this requires burning energy, which is obtained from food. As the temperature drops, your cat or dog’s body can warm itself. However, the body may need more energy, meaning more food, to do so. It’s wise to increase the calories your pet consumes during the winter.
That said, nutrition is a tricky thing. If you overfeed your cat, dog, or other pet, it could lead to weight gain. This could stress your pet’s muscles and joints, and lead to other problems too. Crafting a balanced diet in tune with your pet’s needs is crucial.
If a pet is spending a lot of time outdoors in the winter, give him access to shelters, like a dog house, that make it easier to keep warm. Pet shelters should be elevated off the ground, and it’s smart to provide something that offers insulation, like straw or hay. Make sure the shelter remains dry, as well.
Pet Paws in the Winter
Most people don’t walk around barefoot in the winter. Thankfully, it’s easy to throw on a pair of insulated shoes or boots. Pets’ paws, however, can be left exposed to the cold ground, which can cause irritation and potentially frostbite.
You may be able to find boots for your pet, although they probably won’t be able to, or want to, wear them all the time. Applying balm to your pet’s paws can keep them soft and supple during the winter months. Also, wash his feet off regularly (inside, where it’s warm). This is especially important if salt gets on your pet’s feet.
Get Pet Care from a Veterinarian on Our Veterinary Team
There are many more things to consider when it comes to cats, dogs, and other pets in the colder months. It’s smart to speak with a veterinarian if you want more advice, as he or she can provide advice specifically for your pet. If you speak with a vet in Fort Mill, SC, stop by us at Fort Mill Animal Hospital.