Lucknow: As winter chill sets in, pet owners need to be extra vigilant about health of their pet dogs and cats, say the veterinarians.
Experts warned that frequent yawning, changes in behaviour like more meows or barks and arthritis flareups could be signs of underlying health issues in pets during the colder months.
Fungal infections and viral diseases are also more common this time of the year.
Dr Vikas Singh, owner of a private veterinary clinic in Lucknow, said: “Just like humans, pets also need special care as seasons change, especially older animals. Providing them warm bedding, jackets, a warm environment and a proper diet with warm food and water is crucial.”
Dr Singh also emphasised the importance of choosing the right pet based on one’s living situation.
“Exotic pets including certain dog breeds require specific habitat and facilities that many people simply cannot afford. Keeping such animals in unsuitable conditions can harm their health seriously,” he said.
Discussing stray animals, experts also urged people to provide them food and shelter. “Proper food and shelter facilities can help reduce encounters between humans and stray dogs, which often attack out of fear or hunger,” said Dr N K Verma, another vet.
He also offered tips on dealing with stray dogs that chase vehicles. “The best way to stop a dog chasing your vehicle is to stop the vehicle. Kicking the dog or speeding up can be fatal for the animal as well as the driver/rider,” he said.
Talking about the importance of hygiene, Dr Rahul Chandra, President of the Lucknow Veterinary Association said: “Pets can carry various infectious bacteria and viruses. Owners should always wash or sanitise their hands after touching their pets, and regularly check the animals for any signs of infection.”