Pet lovers whose dogs and cats have to endure the cold winter weather may want to brush up on their wintertime pet health IQ to help keep Fido and Fluffy warm and safe while frolicking in the snow. Antifreeze, which is Ethylene Glycol, is deadly for pets! It also smells and tastes good to pets. Less than four teaspoons 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.
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 anti-freeze. Clean up any spills immediately and thoroughly. Store products in tightly closed containers and keep them up high out of paw reach in secured cabinets.
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. Pet owners can always check with the ASPCA poison control center if this is suspected. Ice Melting Products like Rock salt and De-icing chemicals are irritating to your pets skin, mouth, paws and foot pads. Spritz your pets feet off with water when they come back inside and pat them dry. Signs of ingestion include excess drooling, depression and vomiting.
Rat and Mouse baits are usually used more often in cold weather. Place baits in areas inaccessible to your pets. Peanut butter baits smell good are tasty to pets. Save labels and if think it’s been eaten by your pet, call their office and drive to your vet, ASAP. Most pets are treated with Vitamin K therapy and recover without ill effects. Feed your pet a little extra when it’s cold. Pets need extra calories to produce energy during cold weather.
Provide your pet with plenty of fresh water to 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. Bring your pet inside when it’s very cold and if your pet is going to stay outside for a while be sure to provide proper shelter with bedding and a wind flap.
Groom your dog and cat regularly to remove mats. This helps to allow your pets hair coat to provide proper insulation so he or she pet can stay warm and still enjoy the season. Pet Frost bite risk areas include your pet’s ears, nose, tip of the tail and ears. Frostbitten area of skin initially turn a reddish color then becomes gray.
To Treat Frostbite in Pets: give your pet a warm bath and wrap him or her up in warm towels. Don’t rub an area that has frostbite! Monitor heat lights and heating pads as they can get too warm 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 into frozen water.