Along with the end of the Holiday rush, for many of us this New Year, also brings winter’s chilling snow and frigid temperatures. Refreshing your Wintertime Pet IQ helps to make the season as fun for you as it is for your pets.
Antifreeze is deadly for pets! It also smells and tastes good to pets. Less than one tablespoon may be lethal for a ten pound dog. A single teaspoon can be fatal to cats.
Propylene glycol is a less toxic form of antifreeze and can be used instead of ethylene glycol. The brand is called “Sierra”. It works just as well in your car but is much less toxic to your pet.
TIP: Beginning January 2013, antifreeze manufacturers in all 50 states will be adding a bitter flavoring agent to antifreeze to make it less attractive to pets and children.
Keep your pets out of the area you’re in when you change and/or drain antifreeze from your car.
Check your car regularly for radiator leeks as they also contain antifreeze.
Clean up any chemical spills immediately and thoroughly.
Store chemicals and pesticides in tightly closed containers and keep them in secured cabinets up high out of paw reach.
If you think your pet has consumed anti-freeze, this is a true life or death emergency! Go to your veterinarian ASAP and call ahead while you are on your way!
Ice Melting Products like Rock salt and De-icing chemicals are irritating to your pet’s skin and mouth as well as your pet’s paws and foot pads. Spritz your pet’s feet off with water when he or she comes back inside to help remove these irritating chemicals. Signs of ingestion in dogs and cats include excess drooling, depression and vomiting.
Rat and Mouse baits are usually used more often in cold weather. Place rodent baits in areas inaccessible to your pets. Peanut butter baits smell good and are tasty to pets. Save labels and if you think it’s been eaten by your pet, call ahead and drive to your veterinarian, ASAP. Most pets are treated with Vitamin K therapy and recover without further problems.
Feed your pet a little extra when it’s cold outside. Pets need extra calories to produce energy during cold weather to keep warm.
Provide your pet with plenty of fresh water to help avoid dehydration. Warm up the water and add a little honey or a bouillon cube to stimulate your pet to drink. Chicken noodle soup is great and most pets enjoy a bowl every now and then. Snow is not an acceptable substitute for water at any time.
Bring your pet indoors when it’s very cold outside and if he or she spends a lot of time outdoors’s be sure to provide proper shelter with extra bedding and a wind flap.
Groom your dog and cat regularly to remove mats. This helps your pets hair coat to provide proper insulation so he or she can stay warm during the winter season.
Frostbite risk areas include your pet’s ears, nose, tip of the tail and ears. Frostbitten areas of your pet’s skin initially turn a reddish color then they become gray.
To Treat Frostbite: give your pet a warm bath and wrap him or her up in warm towels. Offer your pet something warm like chicken soup and call your veterinarian Don’t rub an area that has frostbite!
Monitor heat lights and heating pads as they can get too warm quite quickly and can cause skin burns.
Cats enjoy hiding under your car’s hood near warm engines. Before starting your car this winter, look under your hood and honk your horn.
Watch out for frozen lakes, rivers and ponds. Pets can easily to slip and fall in frozen water. Unfortunately not all pets can swim especially in freezing water.
Visit your veterinarian and be sure your pet is healthy as pets, like people are more susceptible to health issues in cold weather.
Give your pet lots of extra attention this New Year and for those pet lovers living in wintertime climates be sure to keep warm and enjoy the season.
Always be prepared and remember the best gift of all is your LOVE!
About Dr. Carol
Dr. Carol Osborne is a pet health researcher, a Board Certified Anti-Aging Pet Health Diplomat, a published author and a practicing, holistic veterinarian in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
She welcomes new canine and feline patients.
Dr. Carol also offers pet health consultations and answers pet health questions and makes homemade pet diets by phone and e-mail for her online pet loving community.
Pet owners may contact Dr. Carol directly at her veterinary office toll free at 1-866-372-2765 to make an appointment for their dog(s) and/or cat(s) today.
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