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Keeping Your Pets Safe in Ice-Cold Winter Weather

January 1, 2015

Your golden retriever Jackson absolutely loves the outdoors. Since you adopted Jackson last spring, your rambunctious pooch loves joining you for hikes, and he plays fetch until you get worn out. While Jackson enjoys cold, brisk weather, he’s probably not ready for your region’s Arctic-like winter temperatures and subzero wind chills. You want to protect Jackson (and your cat Biscuit) from hazardous winter weather, so you’ve asked your veterinarian from Black Hills for some expert pet safety tips. Learn more about pets’ winter weather hazards.

Deep-Freeze Temperatures

While Jackson’s double coat keeps him warm in garden-variety cold weather, he needs extra help in your region’s exceptionally harsh conditions. You don’t want Jackson’s paws, ears, and tail tip to experience frost damage. To avoid this problem, buy Jackson a warm insulated coat, a head-warming hat, and insulated booties. Even with this protective clothing, though, Jackson is susceptible to early frostbite symptoms. Look for blisters and waxy-looking skin. If you see them, take Jackson to the vet immediately.

Often-Fatal Antifreeze Hazard

While Jackson’s generally a well-behaved dog, he occasionally slips out through a briefly opened door. During Jackson’s neighborhood explorations, he might find a vehicle that has leaked antifreeze from its radiator. If Jackson slurps up the nice-tasting liquid, he’ll become very sick and can even die. If Biscuit escapes, he can suffer the same fate.

If Jackson or Biscuit sips even a few drops of antifreeze, they’ll appear drunk; and they might even suffer convulsions. Your pets’ lives are in danger, so rush them to your vet or emergency hospital immediately – don’t delay. Good thing you can minimize your pets’ antifreeze poisoning risks by keeping them out of the garage and quickly cleaning up spilled antifreeze.

Road Salt Paw Problems

Since icy, snowy roads present driving and walking hazards, maintenance crews often apply road salt to streets and sidewalks. While the salt can be effective, it irritates Jackson’s and Biscuit’s sensitive feet. Make sure Jackson always dons his booties before going outside. Since Biscuit will decline the booties, keep him inside.

Feline Hood Hotel Dangers

Biscuit loves perching on your car’s hood, as that gives him a more favorable spot for watching birds and mice. When temperatures plummet, though, Biscuit wants to crawl under the hood and curl up on the warm engine. If you start the vehicle while Biscuit’s in snoozeland, he can easily become injured. Before turning the ignition key, knock sharply on your vehicle’s hood. That should wake Biscuit up and give him time to escape.

Your Black Hills vet will be happy that you’ve taken Jackson’s and Biscuit’s safety seriously. By taking these cold-weather precautions, you can keep your pets safe during your region’s nasty winter.

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