Now that winter is in full swing, it’s important to keep your dog or cat’s safety in mind. There are many hazards that threaten our pets this time of year! Below, a vet in Coon Rapids, MN tells you about five common dangers and how to keep your pet safe.
Of course, the major danger of wintertime is the cold weather. At the very least, your pet will be uncomfortable if they get too cold. At worst, they’re at risk for frostbite and hypothermia if kept outdoors for too long! Make sure that outdoor time is limited to a maximum of 10 minutes or so to avoid these dangers, and consider dressing your pet in a warm sweater or parka.
Deep Snow and Slippery Ice
Try to avoid deep snow banks whenever you can—pets can fall into these and struggle to get out. Even athletic dog breeds can exhaust themselves trudging through deep snow, so only allow them to frolic for a few minutes. It’s also important to avoid ice patches; not only can pets slip, ice may be treated with road salt or ice melt chemicals, which you don’t want your pet ingesting.
Antifreeze is commonly used in the wintertime to keep our vehicles’ engines running. Unfortunately, it’s a very dangerous pet poison. Antifreeze contains an alcoholic substance called ethylene glycol, which is a harmful toxin. Even worse, antifreeze has a sweet taste and smell that may attract animals! Use caution when adding antifreeze to your car’s engine, and clean up any spills right away. Store the chemical safely where no pets can reach.
Cats who are allowed outdoors, as well as stray and feral cats, often like to seek shelter from the cold in cars’ wheel wells or engine compartments. If a car is started and moved with the animal still inside, disaster may ensue! Remember to give your hood a few sharp knocks before starting your car; this will startle any cats into running off.
As the weather cools, insect and rodent pests like to infiltrate our homes to seek warmth. We often combat the problem with pesticides and rodenticides, but it’s important to use caution if you own pets. These products can poison companion animals as well as pests!
Would you like even more great tips on keeping your pet safe this winter? Contact your Coon Rapids, MN vet.