Time for a Winter Check-up for Your Dog
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Time for a Winter Check-up for Your Dog

Dogs
Health & Safety

As the end of August fast approaches, it's that time of the year when autumnal breezes are in the air. Dogs and other pets tend to shed more hair and this means a few more grooming sessions are in order to keep their coats looking good and any excess fluff off the furniture! However, there are other things you can do that would benefit your dog’s well-being.

It’s always a good idea to give your furry friend a thorough check over to make sure they are fit and healthy. With a clean bill of health at the end of the summer dogs and other pets can cope that much better with the colder months ahead. Older dogs in particular, benefit from a health check because if they are developing any sort of disorder, the chances are their immune systems are not working as well as they should. Catching things early means a vet would be able to diagnose and treat a condition that much sooner, something that's a great benefit to your dog's overall well-being. With this said, there are certain things you can check yourself which includes the following:

Give Your Dog's Paws the Once Over

A dog's paws have to go through a lot especially during the drier summer months when they spend more time in the great outdoors running around on hard ground. You may find their paw pads are very dry and could even be cracked which could be the prelude for a nasty infection setting in, making it ultra hard for your dog to walk and move around. You may have to ask the vet to recommend a medicated ointment to use on their pads to help soften them up a little and to prevent any further cracking. The one thing you must not do is use any sort of human product on their feet because you may do more harm than good by doing so.

Watch Out for Drops in Temperature

The weather can be very changeable during the autumn months with quite dramatic drops in outside temperatures. If your pooch is in their senior years, you need to make sure they don't get too cold when they are outside, even if it's only in the garden because they might end up getting a chill. It's best to let them out for short stints rather than leave them out in the cold for too long and the same applies to puppies and very young dogs!

Does Your Dog Suffer with Arthritis

Older dogs and some younger ones too, suffer from arthritis which is another reason you need to keep an eye on them when the outside temperature starts to drop. The condition is painful and affects your dog’s joints. To help keep them more mobile you need to make sure your pooch is made to feel as comfortable as possible. You can do this by ensuring their doggy bed is ultra padded and warm with nice wide edges they can lean their heads on. Occasionally, vets recommend that older dogs be given a cod liver oil supplement if they suffer from arthritis, so it’s worth discussing things with them.

Dogs Eat More When the Weather is Cold

Dogs just like people tend to eat more when the weather turns colder and they do so because it helps them regulate body heat more efficiently. You should expect to start upping your dog’s rations as the autumn sets in, but you also need to keep an eye on their weight making sure they are not putting on too many extra pounds which can trigger all sorts of unwanted health issues! Carrying too much weight can seriously impact a dogs’ life expectancy!

Check Your Dog's Teeth, Ears and Eyes

It's also a good idea to give your dog a once over by checking their teeth and gums to make sure they are nice and clean. If you find there is a lot of tartar build-up, it's time for a quick trip to the vet to have this expertly cleaned off. When you check your dog's ears, there should be a pleasant smell, but if there is a rather nasty odour, then it could be they have an ear infection which would need treating sooner rather than later because if caught early enough, they are so much easier to clear up.

Your dog's eyes should be nice and clear with no discharge in the corners or swelling around their lids. It's worth noting that their pupils should be the same size and if they are not, again a trip to the vet would be in order to have their eyes checked out.

Conclusion

The summer is a great time of the year because it means we get to spend more time in the great outdoors with our dogs. However, as the weather starts to cool off, it’s always a good idea to take your dog along to the vet for a check-up. With this said, there are certain things you can do yourself which includes checking your dog’s paws, ears, teeth and eyes. Older dogs and especially those in their golden years tend to feel the cold a lot more than their younger counterparts so they need to be given extra care when they temperatures start to drop. Having a clean bill of health at the end of the summer is important for our canine friends, it means they are fit and healthy which in short means they are well set up for the colder months ahead.

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