Dr Verona Mitchell at Mosgiel Veterinary Services. Photo by
Winter can be the pits for pets.
Pet owners should take extra care of their furry friends
during the colder months, a Mosgiel veterinarian says.
Arthritis, weight problems and even frozen water bowls can
all be problems for pets during winter, Dr Verona Mitchell,
of Mosgiel Veterinary Services, said.
''You need to be looking out for arthritis in pets during
''If your pets are getting slow, it's often not because
they're getting older, but because they're sore,'' she said.
''You should also keep an eye out for flu in cats and get
young cats spayed before the breeding season in spring.''
Mosgiel veterinary nurse Carina Gough with border collie
Abbie. Photos by Linda Robertson.
Owners should also check with a vet whether their pet
needed additional nutrition in cold months, Dr Mitchell said.
''You do need to watch food volumes.
''Most pets require less food in winter, because they're not
getting the same amount of exercise.''
They could put the kilos on and get fat, if their food was
not watched, she said.
''But pets that spend a lot of time outdoors may need an
increased supply of food to keep them in top shape.''
June Nisbet, of Mosgiel, said she was mindful of the diet she
fed Spenser,, her 12-year-old golden cocker spaniel.
At 12 years of age, it's no surprise golden cocker spaniel
Spenser is starting to feel the cold. ''It's important to
look after our pets,'' said his owner June Nisbet, of
Mosgiel, who recently bought him a winter coat and is
careful with Spenser's diet. Mosgiel veterinarian Verona
Mitchell said pet owners should take extra care of their
furry friends during the colder months.
''We feed him boiled vegetables and chicken mince.
Because of the way he is fed, he doesn't smell like a lot of
older dogs do,'' Mrs Nisbet said.
''Sometimes I'll beat up an egg for him, because it's good
for his coat.''
Mrs Nisbet recently bought a waterproof, fleece-lined coat to
keep the recently groomed dog warm.
''A lot of big dogs never get groomed and just have natural
body warmth,'' she said.
''He's a small dog, so when he gets groomed, he gets quite
Mrs Nisbet said Spenser did not have arthritis, but would she
would check with the vet at his next visit.
''He's getting stiff in his old age, but he still goes for
walks, winter or summer.''
- Nigel Benson and Robert Steven
• If housed outside, make sure your pet is sheltered
from wind, moisture and cold. Heated floor mats, a thick
woollen blanket or straw are good insulators.
• Pets need access to fresh water at all times. Make sure
it's not frozen.
• Pets living outdoors may need additional food to sustain
their body temperature. Check with your vet.
• Exercise is important during winter, but shorten the usual
time. Check your pet's paws for cold weather injuries from
ice or snow.
• Arthritis is aggravated by cold, wet weather.