It goes without saying that cold temperatures are the number-one health concern this time of year. Pets who are allowed to remain outdoors for long periods are at risk of developing deadly hypothermia or getting frostbite. Only allow your pet outdoors for a few minutes at a time to get some exercise or use the bathroom. You may also consider dressing your animal friend up in a warm sweater or parka.
We add antifreeze to our car engines in the winter to keep them running, and it’s one of the most common wintertime pet hazards. Antifreeze contains an alcoholic substance called ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to animals and may even attract them with its sweet taste and smell. Keep pets indoors while using antifreeze, clean up any spills immediately, and store antifreeze where pets can’t reach.
Even athletic pets can exhaust themselves trudging through deep snowbanks. Small pets might even sink in and have trouble getting themselves out! It’s best to have your pet avoid deep snowbanks and drifts whenever possible.
Not only can pets slip on ice just like we can (a particular danger when trekking up or down an outdoor staircase), but ice may be treated with road salt or chemical ice-melt. You don’t want your pet tracking these substances indoors on their paws and ingesting them later. Do your best to avoid ice patches when you’re outside with your pet. Take care to store ice melting products and salt where pets don’t have access.
Outdoor cats often seek shelter and warmth in the engine compartments and wheel wells of cars parked outside. If a car is started and moved with a cat still there, the results may not be pretty! Give your hood a few sharp knocks before getting into your car, just in case any stowaways are hiding. This way, they’ll be scared off before you even start your vehicle.
Would you like even more cold-weather health tips to keep your pet safe in the winter? Call your Tipp City, OH animal hospital for help.