A Winter Wonderland…Pets included!

Q: How cold is too cold for my pet?

A: Many Pets can be outside for short periods of time about 5-10 minutes as long as temperatures are above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs with longer coats, artic and cold weather breeds, ( i.e. malamutes, huskies, chow chows), can be outside for longer periods of time. Older and younger pets are less tolerant of the cold. It is very important to provide adequate shelter for outside pets. This may include insulated houses, dry and clean blankets, hay or straw. Consider moving them into the garage and/or house when possible. Plenty of clean, fresh water is a must especially during this time of year. It may require you to fill up the water dish several times a day if the water is frozen. Also high calorie food, including canned food, is good to feed your pet if they are going to be outside for extended periods of time.

Q: What are some hazards that my pet may experience or be exposed to?

A: Cats, especially, will pick a warm place to sleep. This may be under the hood of a car. Make sure that you make a lot of noise when getting into your car in order to alert the animals. A running engine can kill an animal. Check your pets’ paws for cracking pads, sore feet, snowballs, frost bite, and or sores. Make sure that you wipe down their feet after they have been outside. This is especially a good idea if they have been walking on areas where ice melt salt has been laid down. There are commercially available pet friendly ice melts that you may want to use around your house.

Q: Is antifreeze really that toxic to animals?

A: YES!!!!! As little as 1 teaspoon could be lethal to a cat or small dog. Kidney damage starts as early as 30 minutes after ingestion. Any “antifreeze” product including windshield wiper fluid can be toxic to our animals. There are treatment options if started immediately after ingestion, (no longer than 8 hours after drinking the toxin). If you suspect your animal drank antifreeze please contact us right away!

Q: More pets get lost in the summer right?

A: Not Necessarily. Ice and Snow can hide the scents that will lead your pet back home. Make sure that your pet has proper identification or even a microchip. Make sure that the registration for the microchip is up to date with your current information.

Q: My dog will be fine if I leave them in the car when it is cold, right?

A: Hot cars are dangerous, but so are cold ones. Think about how fast your car cools down when it is not running. It can become like a refrigerator and your pet can become chilled quickly. Pets that are young, old, ill and or thin can be especially susceptible to the cold. Limit car travel to only what is absolutely necessary and never leave your pet unattended.

Q: What about pet-proofing my house?

A: Very good! As pets spend more time inside, it is important to make sure that your house is safe for your pets. Use space heaters with caution, they may bump it, tip it over, and start a fire. In some cases the fumes can harm pet birds. Check to make sure that your furnace is working properly. Carbon Monoxide detectors will also help keep you and your pets safe Keep pet birds away from drafts and cold areas.

Q: I have a 72 hour kit for myself, and food storage. What about my pet?

A: Excellent! It is always best to be prepared. Winter may bring blizzards, power outages, house lock downs, etc. Make sure that you have a disaster/emergency kit for your pets as well. Make sure they have enough food, water and medicine for at least 5 days. Rotate out the food, water and medication periodically.

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