A Wonderland of Winter Senior Pet Care

Winter senior pet care helps senior pets have a happy winter

Winter isn’t exactly brutal in Montgomery, but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience our share of ice, wind, and freezing temps. Although people may enjoy the seasonal change and relish the opportunity to wear boots and sweaters, senior pets are more likely to experience aches and pains, flare-ups of chronic conditions, or even depression.

As the temps drop this time of year, let Carriage Hills Animal Hospital help you tackle winter senior pet care with our expert tips!

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The Buzz About Pet Safe Mosquito Control

Pet Safe Mosquito Control is an important part of controlling heartworm disease in pets They are the most deadly creatures on Earth. Not to be outdone by the bear, the lion, or the shark, mosquitoes are responsible for carrying all sorts of deadly diseases, as well as being the epitome of annoyance.

Most of us just want to enjoy the outdoors in peace, without the hum of a winged nuisance in the background. With pest control, however, comes chemicals. What’s a pet owner to do when it comes to defending ourselves against these tiny pests? Carriage Hills Animal Hospital is here to help with pet safe mosquito control tips just for you.

The Deadly Mosquito

It is no secret that mosquitoes are the bearers of sickness and death to people and animals all over the world. They are able to transmit many blood-borne diseases through their bite, including: Continue…

Is Pet Boarding an Option During Spring Break?

School is out for a week (or more), and families/college students are bound for various travel destinations. Depending on your plans, your pet may be accompanying you on your trip. However, flights to foreign countries and long road trips aren’t always the top choice of territorial, travel-wary pets. This year, don’t compromise your plans for spring break. Instead, consider the wonderful benefits of pet boarding – your pet’s home away from home.

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Your Guide to Frequently Asked Summer Pet Questions

Big Eye dog and flying beeSummer is a great season to enjoy with your pet. Sunshine, family and friends, and fun activities outdoors all make for memorable moments. Summer does bring with it, however, some unique questions you know for humans but what about pets and bee stings, sunburn or poison ivy? Get your summer pet questions answered so that you and your pet can make the most of the rest of this season.

Plants, Critters, and Other Downers

The summer season comes with lots of plantlife and small pesky critters. These can raise their own set of summer pet questions. Continue…

It’s Barbeque Season! Pet Party Etiquette 101

Group of friends eating outdoorSummer barbeque season is well underway, and if you haven’t been to or hosted an outdoor gathering yet, you likely will soon. It’s only natural to want to include our beloved pets in our memorable summer celebrations, but is your pet ready to party?

We know you are an ideal pet parent, but we’ve all witnessed the occasional pet party foul; the overly exuberant dog who manages to transfer muddy paw prints to the fronts of everyone’s pants, or the cat who makes herself at home on the countertop amongst the open containers of sides and condiments.

Proper pet party etiquette, along with safety of course, is an important consideration whether you are attending or hosting a summer get-together. Continue…

The All Too Common Problem of Allergies in Pets

CHAH_iStock_000052716348_Large-1.jpgMost pet owners have experienced allergy problems in their pets in one form or another. Allergies in pets are never fun, be it repeated paw licking, an ear infection that just won’t quit, an anal gland issue, or an intense itch. Learn what pet owners should know about pet allergy problems and what you can do.

What is an Allergy?

An allergy is an inappropriate response by your pet’s immune system to a particular substance. Which substances will trigger allergies can vary tremendously from pet to pet. It might be  pollen, dust, fleas, a certain food, or a host of other objects. Continue…

Too Hot to Breathe: Heat-Related Pet Breathing Problems

iStock_000019599571_MediumThe dog days of late summer are upon us. And, for pets who have breathing problems, these kinds of days can be rough. There are several common pet breathing problems that we see that can worsen in the hot, humid weather.

If any of the following sound familiar to you, please exercise caution on hot days and call us if need be.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Those smooshy-faced pets like Pugs, Persians, and Bulldogs may be cute, but breathing is no picnic for them, even on the best of days. These breeds, described as brachycephalic, characteristically have a perfect storm of problems that affect their airways. These include:

  • Smaller than normal nostrils
  • Longer than normal soft palate
  • Small trachea (windpipe)
  • Crowding of the bones in the back of the nose

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Senior Pet Care in Winter

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For many senior pets, winter can be a difficult, and potentially dangerous, season. Cold weather, an abundance of seasonal people food, and a potential lack of exercise can all affect your pet’s physical and emotional well-being. But with a little forward thinking and some extra care and attention, winter does not have to be a hardship when it comes to senior pet care.

Weathering Winter Weather

Many geriatric animals have less strength and muscle reserves. So, quite often, other underlying problems may surface during the winter months. But helping your senior pet through the winter does not need to be difficult. It’s likely you already know what needs your pet will have based on the health issues he or she is already experiencing.

Arthritic Pets

For many senior pets, the aches and pains of arthritis are often felt more intensely during the winter months. Chilled muscles and joints do not move and glide smoothly, and often it can seem as if the chill in the air can permeate right down to the bone.

Helping senior pets suffering from arthritis can be as simple as providing daily, short walks to limber tired muscles. Keeping older pets active, despite the winter weather, is important for both your pet’s physical and emotional health. If your pet’s feet seem to be particularly sensitive to the cold ground, consider getting him or her paw protection, such as the booties made by Ruffwear. Not only will these boots help keep your pet’s feet warm, but they will also protect his or her paws from the small cuts and abrasions caused by ice and snow.

Likewise, help your arthritic pet by keeping him or her off of cold, hard floors by using padded orthopedic beds with plush coverings. Be certain to keep them in places your pet loves to curl up.

Finally, keep in mind that older pets are less agile and more likely to fall, so monitor your dog as it navigates steps to prevent falls. Consider using a portable ramp or carpeted stairs both inside and out to help your pet get to where he or she needs to go.

Food, Water, and Shelter

During the winter months it is vitally important that pets have easy access to nutritious food, clean and un-frozen water, and warm, dry shelter. This is especially true for senior pets, which are more prone to the potential hazards that frostbite, hypothermia, malnutrition and dehydration can bring.

Senior pets especially need to be well protected from the winter weather and should be housed indoors at all times throughout the winter months.

Likewise, be certain to monitor, and if necessary restrict, your aging pet’s intake of human food, especially around the holidays. The rich, fatty foods typically served at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the like can be overwhelming to your pet’s digestive system and can make your pet quite ill.

Keeping Your Senior Pet Happy

Like us, many pets can get a little blue during the winter months. This is especially true of senior pets. Often, cold and stormy weather can keep both humans and animals indoors, reducing the amount of exercise and activity in your pet’s daily life.

Keep your senior pet happy and healthy by staying active, despite the cold weather. Even a quick walk around the block will get your pet’s blood pumping and help to clear his or her head with the fresh air and familiar scents of the neighborhood.

As winter approaches, please feel free to contact us if you are concerned about your senior pet’s health or safety. We are always happy to help.

 

Pets and Lawn Chemicals: The Danger in Your Backyard

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A well-manicured lawn has become an American must-have, but many resort to using fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers to achieve that goal. Many of these chemicals that are known to be toxic to our pets, so pet owners should think twice before using them on their property. Continue…