The temperature now plunges to 23 degrees Celsius in Metro Manila and as low as 21 degrees in the provinces. Dogs and cats who stay outdoors such as roaming pets and those in pens in farms need added protection to keep them safe from the cold.
We are sharing these tips from herbal healers and literature we read in the internet to help you keep your pets warm during this cold season, and to make their immune system stronger.
1. Give ginger tea or salabat to your pet. No sugar. Just boil a piece of ginger and give the ginger water or tea to your pet. You can put the ginger tea in their food, or give directly in the mouth. Sometimes we use syringe. Most cats prefer the salabat in a teaspoon of wet cat food or canned cat food.
1 tablespoon for small to medium dogs (1//2 teaspoon for teacups)
2 tablespoons for a large dog
1 teaspoon each for cats
For kittens who are with their moms, they do not need the ginger tea as the mother’s body warms them.
Herbal healers prefer ginger over turmeric. Ginger dispels or removes the cold from the body, while turmeric brings heat to the body to melt growths and small cysts. But if the heat stays and accumulates in the body, and we were told the heat can cause other problems like bleeding, inflammation, or even a heat stroke. Turmeric is good for cancer patients but must be given with caution to healthy pets (or humans), the herbal healer said.
2. Boost your pet’s immune system more at this time by giving multivitamins and coco nectar.
We usually give 3 ml for dogs and 1 to 2 ml for cats of each supplement (multivitamins and coco nectar). We give both. There is no such thing as an overdose when it comes to coco nectar, the owner of the company who makes Dr. Gerry’s coco nectar, Frank Regis, told us.
3. Please try to put boiled and chopped malungggay (moriinga) leaves or powdered malunggay in the food of your dog or cat to also boost his/her immune system. Malunggay is said to be the supervitamins among all the vegetables.
4. Put pranela or fleece blankets in their favorite spot or sleeping area to warm the dogs and cats. We also put carton boxes with warming blankets or mats inside for cats.
5. If the dogs and cats are in pens, put a large rug or blanket over the cage and wrap another blanket around the lower part of the cage or pens. Keep an area without a blanket to let some air in.
6. If you can and have only a few dogs or cats, please put them in a warmer place.
7. Put a shirt on your pet if he/she likes clothes.
8. If your dog or cat is shaking due to the cold, please warm them immediately by putting next to them a bottle with hot water wrapped in a blanket. Please make sure the water will not spill out. Then bring your dog or cat to the vet immediately.
There is however a heating pad that you can already buy online. Use with caution of course. Do not leave your pet on the heating pad.
We are hoping and praying the temperature at night will no longer plunge to 21 degrees, and will stay at 26-28 degrees which our cats and dogs —owned ad rescued—are used to or can adjust to more easily. We are also praying your pets will be safe from the cold. It will be good if you can ask for more advice from your vet.
May the year 2023 be kinder to our pets and us owners more! In 2023, we claim and pray more strays and pound and shelter dogs and cats will find a loving home; may more and more humans be kind to dogs and cats; and may laws of all countries in the world protect animals and be enforced.
Happy, love-filled, and blessed New Year to you all!
About the author: Desiree Carlos was a reporter and later sub-editor of Ang Pahayagang Malaya, news editor of Manila Standard, and assistant managing director of DZRH. She was a lecturer at the College of Mass Communications in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and head of the journalism department of Kalayaan College. She is now an animal welfare advocate, founder and president of Save ALL-Save Animals of Love and Light, a SEC-registered non-government organization that rescues sick and injured stray dogs and cats, and feeds animals on the streets through volunteers in several cities in Metro Manila, Morong in Bataan and Pampanga.