8 Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

With winter settling in, our four-legged friends are especially vulnerable. You may need to start taking extra precautions to ensure they stay safe and happy until spring. To help you know what to do, we've assembled these tips with the help of BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

“Weather related injuries are among the easiest to prevent,” said Dr. Jeff Dennis, a board-certified internal medicine specialist with BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Kansas City. “By following these tips, people can help ensure their furry friends will remain a little safer this winter.”

1. DON'T LEAVE THEM ALONE IN THE CAR

Similar to when it is hot outside, never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather either. In the winter, a car holds in the cold like a refrigerator and your pet could potentially freeze to death.

2. DOGS AND CATS CAN GET FROSTBITE!

Any dog or cat who is exposed to very cold temperatures for more than brief periods of time can develop frostbite. If pets begin to shiver or their ears, tail, and feet show signs of frostbite such as redness in the early stages and pale, white or patches in more advanced cases of frostbite, bring them inside immediately.

3. ANIMALS MAY SEEK SHELTER NEAR CAR ENGINE

Outdoors on cold days, animals may seek shelter near something warm like a car engine. If an animal is near the engine when the car is started, serious injury can occur.

4. COLD WEATHER IS BAD FOR ARTHRITIS

Much like humans, damp and cold weather can aggravate symptoms associated with arthritis in dogs and cats. If your pet is having trouble getting up or laying down, walking the stairs, or has started to cry when being picked up, a visit to the veterinarian is in order. Never medicate your dog or cat with human prescriptions or over-the-counter medications without consulting your veterinarian first. Most of them are toxic for pets; numerous arthritis treatments are available

5. PETS NEED TO HAVE FRESH WATER AT ALL TIMES

If you leave water outside for your pets, be sure it does not freeze.

6. ANTI-FREEZE IS HIGHLY TOXIC TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS

Cats and dogs are attracted to its sweet smell and taste, and will often sample some if left out in a container or spilled on the garage floor. If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately. The success of treatment to antifreeze exposure depends on quick action.

7. STARTING CAR IN GARAGE TRAPS CARBON MONOXIDE

Starting a car to warm it up in a garage will trap carbon monoxide. It can only take a few minutes for a small pet to die in a sealed garage with a car running.

8. RODENTS ARE LOOKING FOR A WARM PLACE TO STAY TOO

During winter months, rodents are often attracted to the warmth of homes. Make sure poisons and rodenticides are out of reach of pets.


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