Winter Pet Safety Tips
BRRRRR! It’s Cold Outside!
Guess what? Fido and Felix think so too! While some animals are bred for and have adapted to cold weather climates, most pets are not. Here are a few tips for cold weather care for your pets:
- If your pet is strictly outdoors, be sure to provide suitable (insulated) shelter to allow them to be able to escape the elements.
- Dehydration is possible in cold weather as well as warm weather, and it may be harder for them to find water when it’s below freezing so providing fresh, clean water is a must.
- Likewise, pets outside may seek other sources to drink, remember, antifreeze is POISON.
- While we all enjoy a nice long walk, salted ice-melt products may cause irritation to pet paws, and if licked off, may cause stomach upset. Consider wiping their paws when they come inside or providing booties.
It's Always Flea and Tick Season!
For many pets, fleas and ticks are an occasional annoyance. They can transmit bacterial and parasitic infections including Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tapeworms. Heavy infestations can cause anemia due to blood loss from feeding.
Until recently, fleas and ticks were a seasonal concern, first appearing around March or April and gone with the snow in December. As our New England winters become progressively more mild, fleas and ticks are better able to survive and thrive over-winter.
Adult fleas, for example, can remain protected in a cocoon for up to 30 weeks after reaching maturity and will emerge when the temperature rises can survive for up to 10 days at 38°F. Ticks will become active and feed at temperatures above 32°F, regardless of whether or not there is snow on the ground. In addition to less environmental help in controlling fleas and ticks, some of the familiar old products we’ve been using as preventatives don’t seem to be as effective anymore.
Even though recent studies have shown that fleas and ticks have not developed resistance to common preventatives, our pharmaceutical suppliers have produced several new or updated products to help protect our pets from these pests.
Traveling With Your Pet
Are you planning to travel with your pet? Whether you are journeying by plane or driving, it is advisable to keep with you a signed copy of your pet's current rabies certificate as well as a signed health certificate issued within 30 days of travel.
North Windham Animal Hospital is now accredited by the USDA to issue pet health certificates for both for domestic and overseas travel! We also provide Pet ID cards at no cost (the card includes pet information as well as a list of vaccines).
Having your pet microchipped prior to travel is also a good idea (and may be required) should your pet become lost or separated from you en route. Be sure to update your information with the microchip company to ensure your pet finds his or her way home!
With a few exceptions, the majority of states require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection if a pet will be residing in a state for any length of time. If flying, you should check with the airlines as they may have additional requirements for your animal and more stringent time requirements.
My Itchy Pet – A Simple Approach
If your pet is exhibiting itchiness, allergies could be the cause. Or is it? Here are five questions you should answer:
Is My Pet on Flea Control?Before pursuing extensive (and expensive) diagnostics, consider if ALL pets in the household are on flea prevention. If not, start there. In many cases, owners don't notice fleas, because they aren't being bitten — that's because they're biting your pet. Flea control should include both pets AND environment.
Is My Pet Wormed Regularly?Both internal and external parasites can cause your pet to itch. We may wish to run a fecal exam and/or skin scrapes to look for parasites.
Does My Pet Itch All Year?If so, consider home environment and food. Statistically speaking, very few pets have a food allergy — but it's worth ruling out. If a food trial is suggested, remember, NOTHING ELSE goes into the pet's mouth except the recommended diet. Heartworm prevention will need to be topical. Commit to 3 months before calling it quits.
Does My Pet Have an Infection or Underlying Disease?Blood tests and/or skin cultures or biopsies may be recommended to rule out an infection or disease.
Is My Pet Allergic to Something?Many pets are. Consider allergy testing to identify the source and subsequent immunotherapy to help manage the outbreaks. This doesn't work for everyone, but it does work for the majority of cases.
In the mean time, here's what you can do to sooth your pet's itchy skin:
- Buying An Exotic Pet
- Canine Influenza – A New Threat for Your Dog
- Could Your Pet Be Senile?
- Diabetes in Cats
- Dispelling Your Fear of Anesthesia
- Feeding Pets Table Scraps – Another Holiday Pet Health Hazard
- Hormone Cream
- My Itchy Pet – A Simple Approach
- Pet Dental Health – Two Methods for Identifying Oral Disease in Pets
- Protect Your Pets, and Family, Against Harmful Parasites
- Should I Buy Pet Insurance?
- Should Pet Parents Worry About Heartworms?
- Summertime Pet Issues
- Taking A Trip With Your Pet
- Winter Pet Safety Tips
North Windham Animal Hospital's Dedicated Team
Our team of caring professionals is devoted to you and your pets!
Linda — Hospital Manager
Linda has been with North Windham Animal Hospital since 1993. She loves working with people, their pets and the staff. Linda enjoys being outside at home in her perennial garden. She lives with her husband, Walter, and their four dogs, three Golden Retrievers and a Wire Fox Terrier.
Steve — Head Veterinary Technician
Steve is a Rhode Island transplant who recently moved to Connecticut with his three dogs, six cats, a three-legged bearded dragon, and his wife. Before he found his passion in veterinary medicine Steve was an E-6 in the Air Force and Army for 12 years where he worked as a medic and electronic countermeasures technician. Between deployments to Afghanistan, Germany, Guam, and Diego Garcia he attended several colleges and earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Avionic Electronic Systems, a BA degree in Psychology, EMT-basic certification, and as of 2016 a BS degree in Biology. As an avid musician, cinephile, cook, and gamer, Steve spends his free time watching movies, anime, collecting comics, playing drums, guitar, and an Xbox controller.
Kelly — Head Receptionist
Kelly joined our team in October of 2015. She is a certified dog trainer. In her spare time she loves to hike all around New England and read. She lives with her husband and two daughters. She also shares her home with her lab/hound mix Josey as well as her two cats Tahiri and Luna.
Jessica — Veterinary Technician
Jessica is a veterinary technician at North Windham Animal Hospital. Since she was little, Jessica always had a deep affinity for animals and has now been working in the veterinary field since 2006. At home, she lives with multiple pets including her dog Koda, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In her spare time, she loves fishing and being outdoors.
Lizzy — Veterinary Technician / Receptionist
Lizzy has been working with us since early 2016. She has always wanted to work animal and couldn't picture herself doing anything else. She plans to go back to school to be a Certified Technician. All of her pets, Lilly Ann, Jenny, Princess, Chloe, Toby, Daisy and some African Cichlids are rescues that live with her. In her spare time she is a self-taught artist, drawing, paints, crafts, likes bird watching and training and spending time with her new rescue puppy Lilly Ann.
Paula — Veterinary Technician / Receptionist
Paula began working at North Windham Animal Hospital in January of 2018. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2013. In her spare time, Paula enjoys all things outdoors. Her favorite things to do are kayak, hike and horseback ride on her horse, Jazzy. Along with Jazzy, she has a cow named Chester, two cats Martin and Boots, and her new puppy Louie.
Autumn — Veterinary Technician & Receptionist
Autumn has been a member of the North Windham Animal Hospital since March of 2018. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2005.
Outside of the hospital she enjoys running, biking, hiking and anything that involves being active. She loves traveling and exploring new places with her husband and daughter. At home, Autumn has two cats, Spencer and Sebastian that she adores very much.
Danielle — Receptionist
Danielle is a receptionist, who happily joined our team in the beginning of May of 2014. Danielle has had a variety of pets throughout her life. She is very adventurous and really enjoys being at the beach or in the woods in her Jeep! Danielle shares her home with three cats, Mit Mit, Chauncy and Bentley, a bird named Hary, and her dog Bootsie.
Pam — Post Surgical & Hospital Cleaning
Pam has been keeping North Windham Animal Hospital's surgery rooms and equipment clean and in top shape for 13 years. In her spare time, Pam works in her gardens, plays with her grandson and spends time with her family. She has a cat and a Pomeranian Shih-tzu mix.