Don't let the cold get you and your pet down this winter
If you are anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, you can almost guarantee that you will need to deal with cold and snow during the winter. If its bad for you, then it is equally bad for your favourite little fur kid. This winter, show your pup just how much you love them by keeping these safety tips in mind. With all the cheerful greetings and family visits we can’t always keep a close eye on our fur babies. Here is a list of things you should be mindful of during the winter and especially during the holiday season to ensure your baby enjoys this time of year just as much as you do.
Keep your pets warm with blankets, booties, and sweaters. Short haired dogs, in particular, are not big fans of the cold. This is because they don’t have the layered protection needed to stay well insulated. Sweaters are a great way of adding that extra bit of warmth, plus they look super cute! Paw protection in the winter season is an absolute must. Booties or paw balms protect paws from salt that irritate and damage them. Dogs regulate their body temperature through their paws, so booties help keep them warm. One thing that is often overlooked is salt burn. Salt burns are very common and can inflict a lot of pain on their paws. If your dog refuses to walk any further and lifts its’ paws, they’re in pain. Do not pull on the leash and force them to walk. Instead, give their paws a good wipe and pick them up and over salty patches.
Antifreeze is poison. It is great for your car but please make sure containers are tightened and kept off the floor. Any leakage must be cleaned up immediately in case your dog is one of those curious pups who want to taste just about anything. Antifreeze contains a toxic chemical called ethylene glycol which gives it a sweet taste that dogs and cats are attracted to. As little as 1 tablespoon can cause acute kidney failure in small dogs and 5 tablespoons can kill a medium-sized dog. The last thing anyone wants is a pet that needs to be rushed to the vet and a very expensive bill to top it all off. So be sure to keep your pets away from any unknown liquids on the ground and watch for signs of potential antifreeze poisoning.
And what about Christmas!
Watch your pets around decorations. All of us want a beautifully decorated Christmas tree to place our presents under, but some decorations such as tinsel can have very ugly side effects for dogs. Tinsel is not poisonous but it can cause serious problems if your dog ingests it. Tinsel can get stuck in your dog’s tongue, teeth, or stomach which will not pass through their intestines the way it should. If you think your dog may be a victim of tinsel poisoning, look for some of the symptoms such as vomiting, pawing at the mouth and loss of appetite. Take your dog to the vet immediately for a complete check-up which includes a physical exam.
Don’t feed your pet scraps off the table. Some foods simply do not sit well with dogs. However, if you do want to incorporate some human foods into your pets’ diet, check out our post on the Top 10 Human Foods You Can Feed Your Dog.
Do not leave your pets outside. Although, your pup may enjoy rolling around in the snow, temperatures can drop below zero very quickly. Keeping your pets indoors is the surest way of keeping them warm. Check the temperature before going outside, especially the wind chill factor. In northern US States and Canada, the thermostat may read one temperature, but with the wind chill, it can feel a lot colder. If your dog does enjoy long walks in the cold, be sure to feed him/her a little more than usual as they burn more calories in the cold.
We hope you enjoyed reading about a few ways to help keep your fur-kids safe this holiday season. If you have any other ways to ensure your pet is safe this holiday season, we would love to hear about it!