Pets and humans are both sensitive to changes in weather conditions, particularly in and around the Daly City area, where both dogs and cats can struggle with the effects of colder temperatures, lower barometric pressures and higher humidity. At a time when we are all preparing for the cold winter months ahead, pet owners need to make sure their preparations also include their furry friends.
Keep in mind that lower barometric pressures are a credible factor to consider during Winter. And, since San Francisco also experiences this weather condition, pet scents are affected, meaing pet scents travel farther and hover over the ground longer. Because of this, pets can become increasingly bothered by this change and reflect this in their behavior. Possibly, your pet—that originally slept in his or her own bed, is now found sleeping in the bathroom floor or inside a friendly closet. These are not misbehaviors, but possibly a sign that your pet is struggling with weather-related issues. Ear sensitivity is another common reaction during this time, as well as a feeling of having their daily routine disrupted, due to unexplainable conditions.
Every aspect of your home should be considered from your pet’s perspective to prevent any issues, and awareness is the key. What can a pet owner do to provide responsible pet care during these long Winter months? Here are a few ideas:
Have your pet receive a routine examination – yes, the first step in winterizing your home is to make sure your pet is seen by a veterinarian. At NorCal Vets, we have found that this examinations resolves issues before they become major problems, as in fleas or any other underlying medical issue that might become more problematic as the cold, humid months settle in. Remember, diseases always spread quicker and easier when everyone is sharing the same indoor space.
Groom your pet – this especially applies to having your pet’s nails clipped and paw hairs trimmed. With rainy days ahead, where standing water is common, such poisons as anti-freeze, can be present on the ground and end up causing a horrible, if not deadly, reaction if soaked up into your pet’s paw. To provide proper care for your pet, talk to your vet, or groomer, about the ideal length of their natural coat during these colder, San Francisco, winter months, as well.
Comfortable place to rest – because of drafts and the unpredictability of Winter’s weather, make sure your pet has a safe resting place. A good rule of thumb is, if you need a blanket for warmth, your pet probably does too.
Pet dishes – keep that water dish full. Trying to stay warm, during the cold, uses up a tremendous amount of energy, which means your pet will need, and hopefully drink, more water. Pets typically require less food during colder months, so do not be alarmed if your pet is not eating as much, as long as he or she is eating an adequate amount of food and having normal urine and bowel output.
Remove household poisons – with your pet spending more time indoors, another important pet care tip is to make sure to remove any poisons that your pet could ingest, including all cleaning products and prescription pills.
Adjust to cold weather slowly – most pets can tolerate cold weather, as long as they are given the opportunity to adjust at their rate and not thrown into a situation their normal temperature can’t handle. For a pet that is housebroken, make sure their time outside is brief in the beginning and watch for signs of distress, as in shaking. Many pets, in the Dally City area, work well using a pet sweater. But all pets should be protected from any weather that could cause damage to their paws or any other part of their body.
To set a pre-Winter appointment for your pet or for any other questions or concerns in the San Francisco area, feel free to contact NorCal Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital at 415.413.7363.