Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. Cooler weather means we’re inside more, with the windows closed, the furnace or fireplace blazing, and we are probably a bit less active than we are during warmer weather. Temperatures are dipping well into the hazardous zone for pets to be outside for any length of time; so it is really best to limit outside time, reducing the possibility of frozen paws, ears and noses.
Being inside too much can introduce respiratory infections because everything is tightly shut and sealed to keep heat in; along with heat, potentially harmful germs are also sealed in as they have no way to escape. As with our pets, this can create an environment where we can become sick. I try to keep to a schedule of vacuuming, dusting and cleaning twice a week to minimize any fur or dust buildup; and am always amazed at just how much the vacuum cleaner picks up given this schedule. I wash my Girls bedding at least twice a month, minimizing fur and dander throughout the house.
Just like us, cold symptoms in our pets can present as sneezing, coughing, a running or stuffy nose, and watery eyes. Their skin can be dry and flaky due to inside heat, and some pets begin to shed their coat mid-season. By adding a bit of coconut or salmon oil to your pet’s food, you can help hydrate their skin, and it’s an overall bonus to their diet. A humidifier or pot of water atop a wood burning stove does wonders to add a bit of humidity to the dry heat.
If you suspect your pet has a cold, rest assured that at this point, doctors believe it is not transferable to you, a human; but it is potentially transferable to other pets. Keep your pet away from visiting pets, and make an appointment with your local vet.
While the common cold will typically come and go, should your pet have something more serious going on, it’s good to determine that. For instance, kennel cough is a dry cough, is contagious, and requires a trip to your vet for medication. Another viral illness is canine distemper, exhibiting similar symptoms as the common cold with the addition of vomiting and a high fever. Then there are sneaky parasites that can live in your pet’s lungs, potentially leading to pneumonia.
As we enjoy these winter months, keep an eye on your beloved pet for cold symptoms. For many of us, we just suffer through them; but for our pets, it could be an indication of something else going on.
Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch, is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and will visit your home or vet’s office to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.