Dr Kevin’s top 5 tips for our pets to avoid the winter blues

July 19, 2016

Keep them active. Arthritis is extremely common in our ageing pets and with the colder weather their joints can start aching. Regular low impact exercise is extremely important – the last thing we want is for those joints to freeze up. A visit to your trusted vet may be in order to provide some pain relief. For a natural approach try green-lipped mussel powder, one of nature’s most potent anti-inflammatories.

Keep them lean. Obesity is one of the most common diseases seen in our pets. This can lead to some serious problems, including diabetes, heart disease, tumour development and it can exacerbate the effects of osteoarthritis. If your pet’s activity has dropped off and winter has set in, be sure to drop the calories (I am talking about the dog here). Replacing ¼ of your dog’s dry food with vegies can be an excellent way to shed the unwanted weight.

Mind games. Less activity can lead to boredom for our pets. Boredom can lead to stress and the development of destructive behaviours. Keeping our dogs entertained does not always mean exercise – keep their mind active too! Chew toys, rawhide treats, treat dispensing puzzles (the list is endless). Not only are these great for their teeth, but they will provide endless hours of entertainment. Visit your nearest pet supply store for more recommendations

Travelling north to catch the sun? Be sure to get your pooch up to date with heartworm and tick prevention. Both these parasites can cause serious illnesses. Car travel can lead to motion sickness in dogs too! If your dog’s carsickness is worse than the kid’s, then please speak to your vet for some tailored advice.

Itchy and scratchy? Pet’s skin allergies to dust mites get worse during winter. Be sure to keep up the regular bathing with a natural and sulphate free shampoo, like Ivory Coat, to reduce dust mite irritation and ease discomfort to your companion.