Protecting Your Furry Friends From The Joburg Winter

Nothing beats a warm blanket, a bit of Netflix and your pet curled up on your lap. As loving pet parents, we want what’s best for our fur babies, especially during the winter months when aches and pains can become more prevalent. Unfortunately, with our pets, it’s more difficult to tell when they are feeling under the weather. While dogs will sometimes show signs of physical pain, cats are notorious for hiding injury, pain and illness.

“Before the worst of the cold weather sets in, pet parents should take their pet to the vet for a check-up and once over, just to make sure they don’t have any underlying ailments, such as arthritis that winter will unfortunately bring to the forefront” advises Dr. Guy Fyvie Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Nutritional Adviser. A happy pet makes a happy pet parent, so to make sure your fur baby greets spring with a wagging tail or vibrant purr, take note of these tips from Dr. Fyvie:

Visit The Vet

Research conducted by Hill’s suggests that, alarmingly, less than half of all South African pet parents visit the vet regularly for check-ups or vaccinations and over a third of pet parents only visit the vet when their pet is showing visible injuries or illness. While this certainly isn’t for lack of love for our pets, but rather the busy lives we all lead, it’s important to make your pet’s annual vet check-up a priority, just like you’d make yours.

Watch The Calories and Exercise

No one likes to move as much in winter. It’s cold, it’s dark and we just want to snuggle on the couch with a cup of something hot. The same goes for our pets. However, the more time they spend curled up on our laps, the less time they’re outside, unfortunately affecting their weight and making it very easy to pack on the pounds. Besides a brisk walk with your dog when the winter sun is high, and a couple of playing sessions with a feathered toy with your cat, Dr. Fyvie strongly advises you keep your pets’ diets in check too. Ask your vet about a Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic which helps ignite a pet’s metabolism.

Arthritis Woes

Amplified by the winter cold and winter “padding”, arthritis, if not managed properly, can make for a lethargic and painful few months for your pet. Contributing factors to arthritis can be older age, breed, and excess weight and symptoms include lethargy, stiffness (especially when rising), whimpering when joints are touched, poor grooming and a tendency to lie down instead of sitting upright and sleeping more than usual. The food your pet eats plays an important role in their overall health and well-being.  Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d and mobility range of foods are made with high levels of specific Omega-3 fatty acids, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, and is the only food clinically proven to improve mobility in as little as 21 days. For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your pet’s arthritis and joint health.

Keeping Cosy

Make sure your pet has a warm and sheltered area that is out of the cold, wet and wind.  A nice fluffy blanket over a bed will provide extra warmth and comfort.

This winter Hill’s is encouraging pet parents to take their dogs and cats to the vet for a check-up. *From 1 June pet parents can go to and find out how to save up to R950.

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