The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

January 9, 2020
by Lynn Merton
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Illnesses that Dogs are Prone to During Winter

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Winters can be very harsh, especially on your dog’s health. Dogs are prone to a lot of illnesses during the chilly winter months. Dog owners need to take extra precautions to ensure that their dogs stay healthy despite the cold weather.

Here are the five common illnesses that dogs are prone to during winter:

1. Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition that instigates the body temperature to go low when a dog has prolonged exposure to a cold environment. This illness is more prominent in dogs who already have diabetes and heart ailments. Dogs with these diseases are unable to maintain their body temperature. The symptoms of Hypothermia that you need to look out for include weakness, lethargy, and restlessness.

2. Frostbite

Frostbite is an illness that occurs when a dog stays in a cold environment for long, which pulls all the blood to the center of the body. Due to a Frostbite, a dog’s paws, ears, and nose get very cold that may lead to ice crystals forming in the tissues. You will not be able to see and locate the damages done for a few days.

If you see symptoms of frostbite in your dog, you immediately need to make it warm by applying warm water to the affected areas. Doing this will melt away all the ice crystals and reinstate blood circulation. However, ensure that you do not massage the frostbitten areas as that may lead to pain. When your dog warms up, wrap it in a cozy and warm blanket before taking it to the vet.

3. The Sniffles

Dogs get sniffles too, just like us humans. Sniffles is a minor upper respiratory infection with symptoms that include a runny nose, slight cough, watery eyes, and occasional sneezing, among others. You can treat Sniffles in your dog the same way you treat a baby. Give your little friend a good amount of rest, a warm blanket, and make it drink lots of water.

4. Flu and Pneumonia

The dogs that are the most affected by this disease include elderly dogs and young puppies. However, it is not just limited to them. This illness can affect any dog who has had a lot of contact with rain or snow. Mild symptoms of this illness include dry or moist coughs and sneezing. More severe symptoms include bloody coughs, fever and breathing problems, among others.

5. Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough or canine infectious trachea-bronchitis is a disease that dogs are really vulnerable to catch during winter. This condition is a result of a virus and bacteria working together. There are several factors that make a dog prone to catching this illness. The common symptoms that you should look out for include a honking dry cough and eye discharge.

January 8, 2020
by Lynn Merton
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Illnesses that Cats are Prone to During Winter

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Winter is the time for us to get inside our blankets and sip hot chocolate with our favorite movies. We snuggle in our warm jackets and cozy mufflers to protect ourselves from the cold weather. However, the onset of winter brings a new challenge for cat-parents. Cats have their lovely fur and an undercoat to keep them warm, but that does not mean they do not need special care.

Winters can be harsh on our adorable furry friends. Just like us, our cats can also fall sick in the cold environment.

We have listed three of the most common illnesses that cats are prone to during winter. Look out for the symptoms and help keep your cat healthy this winter.

1. Hypothermia

Hypothermia is one of the most common illnesses during winter that happens due to exposure to cold. Cats who already have some disease are more vulnerable. Wet, cold, and soggy fur are the worst things for combination during winter.

Symptoms

If your cat is shivering and demonstrates lethargy, your cat may be suffering from Hypothermia.

What to do?

Ensure your cat does not remain outside in the cold for too long. When going out, keep your cat warm in a jacket that helps keep the snow from getting in the fur.

2. Frostbite

Frostbite is a disease that goes hand-in-hand with hypothermia due to extreme exposure to the cold environment. Frostbite leads to damage in the tissues causing pain.

Symptoms

The symptoms of frostbite can range from mild to severe. The cat may have pale and hard skin that turns red and swollen when warmed. On the extreme, the cat may suffer from skin blistering and darkening of the skin, which may lead to gangrene.

What to do?

Just like with Hypothermia, you need to keep your cat warm and limit overexposure to the cold and snow. If you see signs of frostbite, warm up your pet by applying lukewarm water to the affected areas.

Do not massage the damaged areas as this could cause a lot of pain.

3. The Sniffles

Cats, just like humans, can catch a cold and fall sick. They sneeze and have watery eyes when this disease takes over.

Symptoms

If you hear your little pet coughing and sporting wetter noses, chances are it has caught a cold. Lethargy and weakness also accompany these symptoms.

What to do? During winter, keep your pet warm at all times. Warm food and water are the tricks to ensure your cat remains healthy. Always have water in the bowl. If your cat has a cough, place a humidifier in the room or take it into the bathroom when you shower if you do not have a humidifier. The steam will help with the cough.

January 7, 2020
by Lynn Merton
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Why you should foster street animals during winter?

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In the midst of freezing weather, even animals are prone to frostbite and dehydration. Although they have fur, exposure to an unkind snowstorm and frost may well be a threat. Well-fed animals gain meat that helps them stay insulated through nose-diving temperatures. Pet animals are usually taken care of; it is the street animals that need our help. In winters, the crippling cold can be a matter of life and death for these strays.

How to help stray animals in winter?

Here are a few things we can all easily do to help stray dogs or feral cats:

1. If you never had any pets or if you are uncomfortable to deal with any animals, then immediately call animal rescue volunteers or support groups. They will be well equipped and experienced to handle different kinds of animals and birds.

2. Whenever you spot a homeless animal, you can intimate the local rescue organizations and animal shelters. Though the shelters will need a few days time to come and pick them up, at least other volunteer groups will be informed so they can make alternative arrangements in the meantime. Occasionally, it so happens that the strays turn out to be lost pets, and the local agency can help reunite them with their families.

3. You can keep a bowl of water and some food in the vicinity where homeless strays are usually spotted. You can also keep water and food outside your house. The strays usually have to go searching for food in harsh weather, so finding food makes them relieved. It is better to check and replace the food or water often, in case it gets frozen due to the chill. You can try keeping the food at regular times so that a stray gets to know when it can approach.

4. You can make snug beds for them to rest and stay warm using straws and cardboard boxes. Avoid making beds with blankets, clothes, towels, or hay because these things can absorb moisture, turn cold, and freeze. Smaller size beds or pet houses are ideal as it helps the animal to curl up and stay warm.

5. If you choose to provide refuge to a stray animal inside your home for a longer period of time then first take it to a shelter home or a veterinary doctor to get it examined for immunization and check its temperament, think whether it is feasible to keep the stray indoors with humans, children or other pet animals. It would help if you also got it checked for any diseases. One common advice is to always bang the car hoods before starting the cars as small strays find warm nooks such as the car engine to save themselves from the cold. Not all stray animals are ready to get domesticated immediately. Providing them shelter and food is the next best option. Be patient, and don’t get discouraged until the animal warms up to your efforts. We cannot help all the millions of strays, but at least we can try fostering any strays we come across during these gloomy and chilly winters.

January 6, 2020
by Lynn Merton
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How to Curb Holiday Anxiety in Your Pup?

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Holidays are times when there are lots of the hustle and bustle, visiting friends and family, hosting parties, traveling, shopping, and just having a good time. A good break from the routine, but it’s not what our little furry friends feel. They love routine and general predictability. Just like us, they get apprehensive in newer surroundings and around new people. Traveling, festivities or parties does bring in a change that throws them out of their comfort zone, thus making them anxious. An anxious pet can get fussy, lose its happy temperament, become hyperactive or inactive, act whiny, either sulk alone, or demand more attention. The symptoms are so many; it is always better to check with a doctor to confirm if it is anxiety or some other disease. To reduce the anxiety in your pet dogs, you can practice these things right from their young age:

1. Set up and try to stick to the pup’s schedules of walking, eating, and playing. All the family members can share turns, or you can seek help from professional pet sitters and walkers, but never miss out on these activities because walking and playing help them to spend their energy in an effective way. It calms their nerves and reduces anxiety.

2. When hosting parties at home, make a separate room for the pup to stay during the party. Keep some of the pup’s toys and treats in this room, along with a comfy bed. This a good practice, and it is really useful when you have people bringing in their pets that don’t get along with yours or when guests are allergic or even when your pet is not ready to deal with strangers.

3. In case you are traveling for a long holiday, leave your pet at home with a reliable caretaker or a professional pet sitter. You can also consider kennels or boarding facilities for the time period. If there is no other option, then buy a comfortable and snug canine travel crate to carry them along. Do not forget to carry along their essential toys, emergency medications, and everything else necessary.

4. Your loyal pets are so much in sync with your moods, schedules, and even your emotions. If you feel frustrated or stressed about all the arrangements and holidays, it is going to brush up on them too. It is essential that you relieve yourself of any anxiety too.

Many people consider their pets as family and would want them to be part of all important celebrations. But after the celebrations, when the routine begins, people get busy in their job and children are in school or college, leaving the pets alone at home. This can make the pets feel lonely or anxious, especially a social and friendly one. In such cases, the anxiety and its impact stay much beyond the holidays if the proper arrangement is not made to address it.

January 3, 2020
by Lynn Merton
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Changes you Can Make to Your Cat’s Diet in Winter

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Cold weathers are harsh for everyone, humans, and animals alike. Everybody needs extra protection and a little change in diet, and that is true for your pets as well. It is very hard for your cats when the thermometer dips, and hence you will need to protect them from the cold spell. You will need to make slight changes in your cat’s diet in winter.

Cats eat more in winter and less in summer

A study conducted by researchers in France proved that cats ate more in winter. The study was conducted by eminent researchers from the University’s School of Veterinary Science, along with veterans from the Royal Canine Research Center in France. After monitoring a few cats for four years, researchers concluded that cats ate nearly 15% less food in the summer. The researchers found that the extra exertion required keeping themselves warm in the cold, and the desire to relax in the summer is the reason behind the change in activity levels during the year.

Cat’s diet in winter

Your cat requires more calories in the winter to stay warm. It would be best if you gave them a balanced, rich diet high in calories. They also need plenty of exercise in the winter.

While dry food is undoubtedly nutritious and unlikely to freeze in the winter, it is a wet food that enables them to conserve their energy and stay warm. You can feed your furry cats the right amount of warm wet food with added water poured into it at feeding time. It will be so cold that the wet canned food will give them the extra padding that they need to remain warm. A helping of dry food can be fed to your cats a little later in the day.

Anti-freezing feeding and water bowls

Avoid metal dishes and, instead, use dark-colored thick plastic feeding bowls that are deep and with a small opening. Dark-colored containers help absorb heat from the sun. A heated or insulated container helps in keeping the wet food edible for long hours, especially in extreme weather. You will need it especially required if you want to keep water outside for your cats and make sure that the water inside it does not freeze.

Just like in summer, cats get dehydrated in the winter as well. It is essential to keep a bowl of fresh water so that they don’t end up consuming contaminated water from other sources. Electric or solar powered dishes are great as they do not allow ice formation.

Feeding stations for your cats

It would be best if you did not keep the water bowls inside the shelter as they can get spilled. It is best to keep the food and water close to the shelter, but not inside it. It is also a good idea to build a feeding station, especially for your cats. A feeding station is like shelter and must have a roof and made off the ground.

Wrapping up

Cats can be great friends, but taking care of their needs is extremely important. Their diet needs a little change in winter. You can find great companionship in your furry pet with a little bit of care.