Preparing for colder weather in not only important for us, but also for our pets.
Dr. Sue Nelson, Kansas State Clinical Professor, tells KMAN that for outdoor pets, winter can be tough. She says along with an outdoor shelter, there are other ways to help keep your pet warm.
“Clean straw is really good bedding. Clean is ideal so you don’t have a lot of stickers and things like that. So they can kind of nestle into it and it kind of helps insulate them a little bit as well, clean hay would be a second best for that. Towels, blankets tend to matte down, so they can’t really burrow into those and so they don’t insulate them quite as well,” she says.
Dr. Nelson also mentions there are dangers other than weather in the winter for our pets.
“Antifreeze. People are starting to change their antifreeze, winter’s coming. So clean up any spills at all. It takes literally a teaspoon for some of our pets, that’s it, to cause them to go into kidney failure and a lot of times it will be fatal for them,” says Nelson.
Dr. Nelson says that before the cooler weather though, we have to worry about other obstacles that our pets face in the fall. She mentions that this weather is the prime season for fleas and some breeds of ticks. She tells KMAN how important it is to stay up to date on flea and tick medicine for your pets.
“We definitely still want to keep going with the tick preventative, really all year round in Kansas. It’s too unpredictable with our seasons, when it’s cooling off, when it’s going to freeze, when it’s going to warm up. Quite frankly we see fleas year round. Yes, in lower numbers in the winter, but we still see them,” she says.
Another big obstacle our pets face in the fall is allergies. Dr. Nelson says, just like humans, pets have seasonal allergies too. She talks about the different signs of allergies and secondary infections that you can look for in your dogs and cats.
“Every once in a while taking a look at the inside of the ears. Are they red, are they inflamed, do you see discharge, or smell and odor? If they are really looking at their feet, if they’ll let you look, look on the undersides of the feet and between the toes on the top, see if they’re red and broken out. Look at their bellies. See if they have little red pimply looking things on their bellies. some of those can be signs of secondary infections that they might need relief for,” says Nelson.
Finally, Dr. Nelson reminds us with the holiday season coming up it is important to be careful with things such as chocolate, nuts, and sugar free candy as those things can all be toxic to pets.