Winter & Our Pets by Lisa

Winter has arrived with a vengeance! I would just like to remind all my furry moms & dads of the dangers that are lurking out there. Winter should be a fun season not a heartbreaking one.

Winter weather means COLD. Please do not leave your pets outside for extended periods of time. Yes, they have fur coats but unless your pet is acclimated to living outdoors 24/7 that coat will not have adapted accordingly. Even if it has, there is still the risk of frostbite for the even most seasoned pet. Wild animals living in the deep forests succumb to harsh weather conditions every year. If your pet must be outside be sure to provide the necessities: warm/dry shelter, water that is not frozen, higher caloric intake, etc.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution so a good rule of thumb to follow: If it’s too cold for YOU, it’s too cold for your pet

We all know that Antifreeze is toxic. The alluring sweet taste and smell is deceiving. It only takes a small amount (teaspoon) to poison your pet. Immediate Veterinary attention is required if you suspect your pet may have ingested this deadly toxin.

We all love to have our pets accompany us on outdoor excursions. And exercise IS still important!  Keep in mind, however, that one minor slip on an ice patch can cost you $2000 for a cruciate repair plus not to mention the pain your pet will endure.  There are many styles of footwear on the market that will help keep your pet safer when walking on snow/ice. Your pet may require time and patience to adapt to them.

Salt on the roads/sidewalks are damaging to the skin. It’s suggested to keep the hair between the toes and on the pads of the feet trimmed very short not only to provide better traction but to help prevent salt/ice balls from building up. Be sure to rinse your pets’ feet off with warm water when you get home.  Some salts/de-icers can be toxic if licked off feet. This will also give you the opportunity to check for any injuries. Crisp/hard snow and ice CAN cause lacerations and abrasions.

This is the time of year that animals will begin to seek shelter from the elements. Be sure to do a thorough search of your sheds, garages, cottages before closing them up for the winter. Many pets have perished because they were unknowingly barricaded in the neighbors shed for the winter. It only takes a few minutes to be sure nobody has snuck in while you had your back turned and is now hiding behind that old spare set of tires. This being said, if your pet has suddenly gone missing it would be a good idea to ask the neighbors to check these areas as well.

Arthritis is an awful infliction.  Cold, damp weather will aggravate arthritis. Your pet may need a little help managing the pain and discomfort.  Talk to your vet about prevention as well as treatments for arthritis. For those who are into homeopathic/natural remedies please check with your Veterinarian first as some of our over the counter human medications can be toxic (for example: Tylenol)

It would be a good idea to stock up a little bit on food, water & medications in the event of harsh storms that may leave you stranded at home for a few days.

Internal/external parasites are still a concern even in winter. Talk to your vet. You may need to consider parasite preventions/treatments if your pet is at risk

*****Have a safe and happy winter!*****