At the vets: How to make winter less traumatic for your pets

Lacey the rescued dachshund modelling the latest in comfortable, fashionable, and practical outer wear!
Lacey the rescued dachshund modelling the latest in comfortable, fashionable, and practical outer wear!

It looks like our glorious West Sussex summer maybe well and truly over for another year so what better time to highlight some important autumnal hazards now facing our beloved pets?

With temperatures dropping fast and dark wet nights drawing in to quickly replace the warm sunny ones, please make sure your dogs are kept dry when walked, wearing waterproof – and ideally reflective – warm coats.

It’s so important to make sure your pet is microchipped too remembering to keep all-important contact details up to date.

Central heating turning on can often mean annoying fleas hatching from eggs in carpets so make sure both pets and houses are protected with products purchased from your vet, i.e. that work!

Other seasonal parasites observed niggling our poor pets at this time of year include tiny orange harvest mites picked up from long grasses which congregate around ears, eyelids, and feet, even under your pet’s abdomen.

Just like fleas these mites can cause intense itchiness resulting in uncomfortable crusty lesions.

Early October is also the perfect time to start planning for the upcoming firework season. Clever desensitization CDs, safe calming aids, as well as invaluable advice from both vets and qualified canine behaviourists will help cure your pets’ firework phobias, preparing your frightened four-legged friend for their most traumatic time of the year.

Many car owners will be getting their vehicles ready for the winter months so please remember that antifreeze – commonly used in car radiators – is extremely tasty to inquisitive pets (especially cats) and more importantly extremely toxic too; with even tiny amounts ingested resulting in irreversible kidney failure and death.

To all you tortoise-owners out there, start thinking about hibernation preparation if they need it, making an appointment with your vet ASAP for essential weight and length measurements.

Please be aware older dogs and cats tend to feel their joints more in cold weather, so make sure they’ve plenty of warm bedding, with any changes in mobility or even lameness investigated by your vet.

Stiffness and soreness can easily and safely be treated nowadays making the forthcoming colder months much more bearable.