Winter and Pets, some helpful information.
12/28/15 - Seasonal Advice
Exercising your pets is important even during the cold months of the year. If you regularly walk your dog, you want to continue his or her normal activity habits. When you return home from your exercise, it is recommended to check your pet’s feet for ice balls and remove any. It is always a good idea to rinse your pet’s paws off with warm water to remove or melt any ice balls and to rinse away toxic ice melt they may have come in contact with. Pet owners are strongly encouraged to purchase pet safe ice melt. When out with your dog be cautious about any frozen ponds or lakes. If your pet breaks through the ice, they will be at risk for shock and hypothermia. If you pet should fall through ice into freezing water they should be taken to the hospital right away. Visit safe paw’s website to read about their pet safe ice melt.
Besides non pet safe deicer pets are at risk if they ingest antifreeze. Keep these products in a stored area where pets cannot access them and make sure to properly clean any area where they have spilled.
If you have cats that go outside they may seek heat sources. Cars are an excellent source of heat and potentially hazardous for cats that can crawl into the car near the engine. If the car is started and driven this can significantly injure them and in many cases cause death. Whenever possible, account for the whereabouts of your outdoor cat before starting the engine. If your outdoor cat tends to spend more time indoors during the winter, try using a laser pointer to exercise them and keep them at a healthy weight.
Lastly owners of arthritic pets should take extra care. The damp cold weather can increase discomfort in the joints. When the ground is slippery outside it can be difficult for arthritic pets to get around. Take extra care in cleaning snow and ice for them and avoiding running or fast walking on wet or frozen surfaces to help avoid injury.
If you have any questions about how to keep your pets safe and healthy during the winter contact your primary Veterinarian. Please visit the AVMA website for more helpful winter and your pet information.