Warm and walkies: key to good pet health

Veterinary nurse Sarah Wilson with Walter, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel at the Launceston Animal Medical Centre. It's important not to neglect your pet's health over winter.

Veterinary nurse Sarah Wilson with Walter, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel at the Launceston Animal Medical Centre. It's important not to neglect your pet's health over winter.

 LAUNCESTON'S icy winter days are no excuse to let your pet become unhealthy.

Animal Medical Centre vet assistant Dr Gary Post said yesterday that keeping pets warm and well exercised was key to maintaining their health during the cold winter months. 

``They do tend to get . . . a little obese over the winter months, so you need to keep their exercise up,'' Dr Post said.

``Despite it being chilly, they still need to go for walks.''

Cats can be placed on an indoor diet if they become reluctant to venture outside.

Dr Post said keeping animals warm was important for their well-being. 

``Try to keep the pet as warm as possible; good bedding is important,'' he said. 

Coats should be worn by short-haired animals, while waterproof electric blankets could be useful for keeping your pet warm during the night. 

Dr Post said while the Animal Medical Centre did not get busier over winter, it did tend to see an increase in certain conditions, including arthritis in dogs and stress-related bladder inflammation in cats. 

Dr Post said arthritis in dogs could worsen in the cold weather.

``They become more arthritic in winter, just like us, so we need to take special care of them,'' he said. 

Fish oils can be used to treat animals with arthritis, as well as injections if necessary. 

Bladder inflammation in cats can be helped by ensuring there is one clean litter tray per cat, and one extra. If cats do stress they can be treated with anti-anxiety medication.

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