How bad weather affects your pet’s health

Is your pooch happy with walking on rainy days? Photo credit: Stephanie Lyn

Is your pooch happy with walking on rainy days?
Photo credit: Stephanie Lyn

Humid days and thunderstorms have certainly been plentiful in 2015. As a result, we’ve seen a few common issues spring up at Fox Valley Animal Hospital. And we’ve seen more than a few owners looking for not only medical solutions but the “how do I keep the pets from climbing the walls?!” answers, too.

Here’s what to expect with wet weather and humid conditions with your pets.

Flea infestation

From Wahroonga to Wollongong, Sydney vets are reporting a record number of flea cases with family pets. Part of the issue is that conditions have been ideal for flea breeding, and part of the issue is general pet behaviour.

With summer holidays, lots of dogs end up at the beaches, rivers and waterways. This is excellent for keeping your dogs safe from heat stroke, but can diminish the effects of flea and tick treatments.

Wet nights and humid days are what a flea loves the most. Meaning your cat or dog has an awful lot more to contend with.

In response to the current flea problem, we have 20% off Advantix and Frontline. And the vet nurses are currently investigating a new tablet for flea and paralysis tick protection that may significantly reduce issues like protection washing off, the wrong pet getting the wrong medicine and the frequency of application. We’re doing the final assessment and will let you know when it’s available.

If your pets are suffering from flea issues, please drop in and see us. We’ll be able to help. And stay tuned for vet nurse Hayley’s “what to do when faced with a flea infestation” blog.

Skin problems, lots of them

Fox Valley Animal Hospital’s resident skin specialist Vet Katie has been treating a lot of cases recently. Dr Katie’s covered animal skin diseases on the blog before.

However it does need repeating.

If you see your cat or dog is troubled by excessive scratching, biting or dragging themselves along the ground, you need to act.

Skin problems are far easier to solve in the early stages than when damage, bruising and open wounds are occurring.

Plus, an itchy pet doesn’t get much sleep. So making sure your pet is skin disease free, especially in hot, humid conditions when they are already irritated and facing sleeping problems is a must.

Malting and shedding issues

From snakes and lizards shedding in patches through to excessive coat malting in dogs and cats, we’ve seen it all.

For reptiles and birds, changes in humidity can be particularly difficult to deal with, especially during their standard shedding and malting cycles. Ensure your pets enclosure is temperature controlled, and always make sure fresh water is available to allow your reptile or bird to make use of a soothing bath to aid with the shedding process.

Cats and dogs can really suffer under humidity, too. Keep an eye on their fur, help with brushing and cooling with water. And always make sure you make time for a proper de-shedding and grooming trip, especially during the summer months. A lot of skin disease and injury from claws due to scratching can be covered by those extra fur layers.

That’s why we highly recommend you bring your dog to the Pooch Parlour at Fox Valley Animal Hospital an absolute minimum of twice a year during major seasonal sheds for a pet grooming session. To promote really happy, healthy and humidity free dogs and puppies, additional grooming appointments are recommend every 6 weeks in line with the change of seasons and during the warmer months.

Always remember to book with the Pooch Parlour in advance to ensure your spot!

Wet weather boredom

With wet weather and storms making regular exercise routines problematic, your dog may be feeling a tad bored. The cats could be reacting to a little too much time indoors.

Walking dogs and park visits don’t necessarily need to be completely off the menu. If you start your dog at an early age to walk in the rain, you won’t have the issue of them turning up their nose at the prospect of going outdoors.

If however, you don’t want to drag out the raincoat and wellies, or if you pooch is fussy when it comes to rain, or the cat is climbing the walls, here are a few things you can do.

  • Teach new tricks. Learning new things can be challenging to cat and dog alike. So spending your usual walk or roaming time spent focussing on teaching your pet something new can do wonders for the boredom.
  • Think enrichment. Using puzzles, kongs and treat balls can take your pet’s mind straight off the rain and straight into fun-land!
  • Calm yourself. Our pets are great at picking up vibes from us. If you feel bored and fractious, chances are your pet will follow suit. So try and find something quiet to distract you. Such as curling up with a film or a good book and encourage your pet to sit with you.

We have a selection of toys you can purchase at Fox Valley Animal Hospital, and our vet nurses always have some fun, interesting and new ways to keep bored pets entertained during wet weather if you need some advice.

Arthritis and stiffness

Wet weather can be especially taxing for older pets or pets with existing issues such as arthritis or bone related problems.

In treating pets that may become slow or feel pain during weather changes, especially reductions in temperature, we recommend keeping your pet warm and comfortable, and taking advantage of hydrotherapy if you can.

As one of the leading Sydney vets known for preventative measures and treatment management, calling on Dr Alex for further advice on daily prevention, physiotherapy techniques and/or suitable supplements and medications will also help manage any major symptoms and issues.

The last word on pets and bad weather from these Sydney vets

As dedicated Sydney vets and vet nurses, the team at Fox Valley Animal Hospital know the sorts of things you need to look for in each seasonal cycle and weather condition in this beautiful city of ours.

We know it’s important to pay attention to weather changes as they will influence your pet’s health.

If your pet is exhibiting signs of any of the complaints above, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment on (02) 9489 4805 to see our Sydney vets and vet nurses. 

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.