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All Dried Out

If you are a regular follower of our posts, you’re ready for many of the dangers your pet faces as the temperature falls and the winter winds blow. You’re prepared for the cold walks with your dog, the pitfalls of decorating for the holidays, the possible flair-up of your dog’s arthritis pain and you’re on the lookout for signs of hypothermia. You are ready to keep you and your friends warm and dry this winter, no matter what Old Man Winter throws at you. But are you preventing dehydration?

Whether your pet spends a lot of time indoors or outdoors, dehydration can be a significant problem for your dog or cat at this time of year.

In these colder temperatures and the whipping frosty wind it can be a struggle to keep warm, as you well know, and this uses up a lot of energy. To keep the body’s furnace running your pet will need additional energy from food and water, particularly if they spend time outside. If an outdoor water source has frozen over, consider a heated water dish to prevent icing over. And always make sure there is a bowl of water inside the house waiting for them as well. To keep your friend’s energy and fitness levels up and their coat in prime condition, consider adjusting their food portions if needed.

Your pet’s skin may also suffer at this time of year. Cold dry winds outside and furnace blasted homes inside can be very hard on their skin and fur. If a pet is regularly irritated they may scratch and bite incessantly at the dried out regions, causing hotspots and sores to occur. To help prevent such sores and dried out skin, consider adding fatty-acids as a supplement to their food. This will help both the skin and fur retain their moisture. As another preventative measure, fur brushing will increase circulation to the skin and coat. Do it often and do it with gusto. If bathing is absolutely necessary, do not do it too frequently as you do not want to dry out your pet further but make sure that shampoos and conditioners containing products like oatmeal are used to help soothe the angry skin.

Ensure a happy, healthy and moisturised pet this season, and the only snow this year will be on the lawn.