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. email@example.com or 303.691.3720. Visit gentletouchanimalhospital.com for more information on us.
Tips for Valentine’s Day safety for your furry family member:
Chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are toxic to dogs, cats, and birds. The darker the chocolate, the more danger it poses. As little as 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate or gourmet dark chocolate can cause toxic effects in a mid-sized dog or cat. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and restlessness. In severe cases, seizures and heart failure can occur.
Xylitol. Xylitol is gaining popularity as a sweetener in many candies, sugar-free gum, and baked goods. While xylitol is completely safe for human consumption, it is extremely toxic to dogs. Small amounts can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, and even death. Signs of xylitol poisoning develop within 15 minutes of xylitol ingestion, and may include vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination, tremors, seizures, and coma. The most recent information shows that xylitol is not known to be toxic to cats, but since it’s always better ‘to be safe than sorry’, keep all treats away from cats and dogs!
Plants. Some plants can be toxic to your pet. Lilies are especially toxic to cats, causing kidney failure, so be sure to keep lilies out of special Valentine’s Day arrangements in your home. Luckily roses, everyone’s favorite Valentine’s bouquet, are non-toxic to dogs, cats, and birds!
Cellophane and Ribbons. Even the crinkly cellophane that your plants or flowers come wrapped in can pose a threat to your pets. The crinkly sound may be appealing to a cat or young puppy as a play toy, but if ingested, it can become lodged in your pet’s digestive system. Be sure to dispose of the wrapping properly and don’t leave cellophane or foil wrapping on plants you may receive. Cats love ribbons but they can be swallowed as well.
This Valentine’s Day, keep all candies, chocolates, baked goods, flowers, and plants out of reach and away from curious pets. If you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic product, contact your veterinarian right away. Your pet has a better chance of recovery if treated early.
For more information you can visit http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/
Your pets are family. Get them the care they deserve.Request Appointment