Are your pets starting to feel the cold?

by Jared Smith

Our vet, Will Sennitt, talks about how our elderly pets may be affected by the colder weather.

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by Will Sennit, Ryedale Vets

The nights are starting to draw in and t-shirt weather is most definitely behind us. While there is a certain pleasure in curling up on the sofa with a warm furry friend to cuddle in winter, when the heating turns off our pets might not be so comfortable.

This time of year, we have many elderly pets come to us feeling their aches and pains — whether its morning stiffness or shortness of breath — so special considerations need to be made for our elderly pets in winter weather.

If you have an older pet, you might notice they are spending more time in bed and find it more difficult getting up after long periods of rest. There are a number of reasons why this may be, and if you are concerned it’s always important to get them booked in for a check over by a vet. One of the reasons could be degenerative joint disease, which includes more commonly known conditions such as arthritis. In dogs, the first signs of arthritis could be slowing down on walks or being more sensitive to be touched. In cats, initial signs may simply be an unwillingness to jump up to high surfaces or not wanting to be picked up.

Our vets have the knowledge and experience to find out whether arthritis may be a cause of their symptoms. If you already know your pet has arthritis, there are a few things to help ease their joint pains. For example, making sure they have a nice warm place to sleep at night can help reduce some of the stiffness they may feel on a morning. It’s surprising how cold parts of the house — such as a kitchen or utility room — can get, especially at this time of year. Setting the thermostat a little higher during the night can make all the difference. Also, providing a thick cushioned bed for them to sleep on helps reduce pressure on their joints and contributes to keeping them warm.

If you think your pet is starting to slow down in their twilight years, there are many treatments available to relieve their pain and discomfort. All our pet health professionals are experts in finding which treatments suit your situation best. We are always available to chat about you and your pet’s individual needs, just get in contact via the details on the Handy Mag Business Directory: www.thehandymag.com/business_listing/ryedale-vets/

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