14 Apr Vet Health Tips from your local Wolli Creek Vet
With the temperatures starting to reduce, now is the ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities in Wolli Creek with your dog.
The ‘bite’ of winter hasn’t really hit us yet and so we’re able to enjoy crisp, sunny autumn days. Planning outings with your pet can make for a lot of fun in the last few weeks before winter.
As long as your dog doesn’t suffer from motion sickness, taking a day trip to a scenic part of the outskirts of Sydney can be a lot of fun.
Being a Vet in Wolli Creek, we know the quaint towns of Robertson, Bowral or Picton to Sydney’s south aren’t too far and are beautiful. Your dog will relish in the freedom of bounding through the crunchy autumn leaves that have recently been shed. Be sure to research pet friendly coffee shops and pubs in these areas before you go as there are more and more springing up around New South Wales. Curling up with your pet and reading the papers over a freshly brewed beverage is sometimes just what the doctor orders this time of year!
Before you set off on your day trip, remember to pack a water bowl for your pet as even in cooler temperatures, they can overheat if they get too excited.
When inclement weather hits Sydney and leaving the house seems unpalatable, as a Vet who spends a lot of time in Wolli Creek, this is a perfect time to hone your pet’s trick repertoire and even teach some new ones. There are plenty of videos on various YouTube channels that demonstrate how to teach your dog tricks. ‘Walk around’ is an easy-to-teach trick that can be taught indoors in places with even very little room, simply lead your pet with a leash around your feet and reward each revolution with a treat. Consider also investing in a ‘clicker’ which can be used to signal that your pet has done the right behaviour that you are rewarding. Hide and go seek is another fun game you can play with your pet at home and can reinforce the recall response.
Discovering new walks
The end of autumn is a perfect time to enjoy brisk walking and we’re so lucky in Wolli Creek to have literally tens of trail walks around the local metropolitan area that are dog-friendly. sydney.com and the National Parks websites have plenty of information on local walks, their difficulty, and their duration. One of my favourites is the Hermitage Foreshore Walk in Rose Bay which takes in expansive views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House – ensure your camera is packed for this one!
Classes and sport
If you haven’t considered getting your dog involved in flyball, agility or other competitive sports, winter is a great time to think about it. While the cooler mornings will require more motivation to get out of bed, your pet will perform better and be less likely to overheat. Winter is an especially good time for aerobic activities for our short-muzzled breeds like pugs and boxers who may experience exhaustion in hotter temperatures.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to stay indoors, there are also Doga (yoga with dogs) classes available online, such as dogayoga.com. It’s a great way to start your day, or to finish a stressful work day!
The symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and disc disease are more severe in the cooler temperatures, so try and restrict your older dog’s activity to the warmer temperatures around lunchtime if possible. At the same time, remember that to keep your older pet mobile, it is imperative to keep her moving, so don’t let weeks go by without a walk because of the inclement weather.
Just as we feel the chill, our dogs can get cold when the temperature drops too. There are heated pet beds available at pet stores, or you can get heat pads for them to use in bed. If your dog is a big chewer, make sure you supervise them when they’re using it, and take it away if they damage it in any way. If they get rained on during their walk, make sure they get towel dried as soon as possible. Of course, you can always use this colder season as an extra excuse to snuggle with your dog under a blanket!
it tends to be quite dry in winter, and sometimes our dogs can develop dry skin too. Try not to bathe them too often to prevent their skin from drying and flaking, and use more moisturising shampoo, such as Aloveen. You can also use moisturising balms on their paw pads if they’re dry. It can be an opportunity to bond with your dog, as you’ll need to massage the balm into their paw pads.