Pet Cold Weather Tips
Yes, our four-legged furry members do have a fur coat (most of them), but this is not always the only thing they need when the temperature dips. They can be hearty but there are potentially dangerous hazards every pet parent must be aware of. The following are some pet cold weather tips:
- Make sure they are wearing a collar with clearly marked tags and that the microchip is in place and all information associated with it is current.
- Double check that your fence is secure. You also want to make sure you have a strong gate latch, as these are the first to blow open in a gusty storm.
- Be ready for anything, including power outages, blocked roads and closed stores/vet offices. Never let your supply of food and medications get lower than a weeks’ worth.
- Pet proof your interior spaces. Watch for open flames, space heaters and other winter objects that can be a hazard.
- Better yet, bring ‘em in. Cold weather can exacerbate medical conditions such as arthritis and asthma. Visit AVMA.org for more information.
- Keep them on a leash at all times. Paws.org states that more pets are lost in the winter than any other time. They can lose scent trails and/or become disoriented in harsh weather.
- Stay off any ice. Pets will fall through and you will go in after them. It is not safe for either of you.
- Shorter haired pets need a coat. You might also consider one for your senior pet. They have a harder time regulating their temperature.
- Protect their paws and rinse them as soon as you get home. Salt is toxic and they will lick it off of their paws. Make sure all snow that has accumulated between their pads is rinsed off with warm water.
- Cats are known to hide under cars during the cold months. Bang on your hood and look under your car before starting the engine.
- Antifreeze is used in abundance this time of year and pets are attracted to its’ sweet taste. Even a tiny amount can be lethal to your furry family member. Wipe up any spills and keep containers stored where it is not accessible.
- Just as in summer months, never leave a pet alone in the car. It just is not safe!
As in any medical emergency, make sure you call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet is suffering from hypothermia or toxic poisonings. The signs to look for are:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
- Extreme thirst
- Dilated pupils
- Weak pulse
- Extreme shivering or slowed movement
This list is not all inclusive, so use your best judgement. As always, contact Gentle Touch Animal Hospital with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.691.3720. Visit gentletouchanimalhospital.com for more information on us.
Thanksgiving Pet Safety
Food and Decorations
Thanksgiving is a special holiday, with decorations and an overabundance of food. Thanksgiving pet safety is of the upmost importance. While pets should be considered a part of the family, they should not eat the same as the 2-legged family members.
Human food can be very difficult for pets to digest. If it is fatty, their bodies cannot properly process it and that can lead to a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. Even a small piece of turkey can have too much fat on it. Do not give him the turkey bones. They are soft and can break apart or splinter, causing an obstruction. Desserts often contain chocolate and/or xylitol, both of which are toxic. For a complete list of harmful foods visit the ASPCA/food safety .
When you are cleaning up after the feast, make sure the trash is out of the way. The smells in their will be too much for your furry family member to resist. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately.
Be very careful with decorative plants. A lot of holiday plants and flowers can be toxic to pets. This includes (but is not limited to) amaryllis, hydrangeas, baby’s breath and poinsettias. For a complete list visit the ASPCA/toxic plants .
Cats are very curious and will check out that candle with the open flame you have so beautifully displayed. Never leave a pet alone in a room with one. Pine cones, garland, and other small decorations can make for a fun toy (so they think) but can also cause a not so fun obstruction if it is ingested.
Traveling With a Pet
If you are taking your pet across state lines, make sure you have had a veterinarian first check him out completely and issue you a travel certificate. If you are flying, be sure to check with your airline to find out what their specific requirements are. If you are traveling internationally you must also find out the requirements in the country you are entering. Some are very strict and require treatments or vaccine way in advance, so make sure you start early. For more information on domestic travel you can visit USDA/pet travel.
All pets should be restrained while in the car. This means using a harness or carrier. Make sure to place them in the back, away from airbags. Not only is restraint safer for them, it also protects the driver from being distracted by a pet roaming freely in the car.
Your pets are family. Get them the care they deserve.Request Appointment