Winter is nearly upon us—is your pet ready for the trials of the cold season? Here, your Floyds Knob, IN vet tells you about several common wintertime hazards to help your pet avoid.
Of course, the frigid temperatures are the major hazard of winter. Never leave your dog or cat outdoors for long periods of time in the winter, as deadly hypothermia and frostbite can result. Instead, bring them indoors, where they’ll be safe and warm with your family. You may also consider dressing your pet up in a warm parka or booties to help protect against the elements during bathroom breaks or outdoor walks.
A tip for wintertime walks: if available, try walking your pet through wooded or shrub-lined areas. This will help insulate you and your pet a bit from the biting cold and chilly wind.
Pets can slip and fall on ice just as easily as we can. Do your best to avoid patches of ice just to be safe. There’s also a chance pets may try to chow down on ice chunks, but it’s safest to prevent this from happening. Sharp shards can sometimes lacerate a pet’s mouth or throat if they’re eaten.
Take care to avoid deep snowbanks, even if your pet loves to frolic around in the white stuff. Cats and dogs—even athletic retriever breeds—can exhaust themselves trudging through heavy snow. Smaller pets can also sink into deep snow and have trouble getting themselves out!
Antifreeze is commonly used when the temperatures drop, as it helps our car engines keep running in the cold. Unfortunately, it’s very toxic to pets. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and worse. Plus, it has a sweet smell and taste that may attract pets! Always use antifreeze carefully, and clean up any spills right away. Store the chemical where pets can’t gain access.
Here’s two more reasons to avoid ice in the wintertime: road salt and ice-melting chemicals. You don’t want your pet getting these substances on their paws, as they may lick them once back inside and ingest things that they shouldn’t. To be safe, give your pet’s paws a thorough wipe-down with a soft cloth every time you come back indoors from a wintertime trek.
Call your Floyds Knob, IN animal hospital for more helpful tips.