Photo via Pixabay by Gerhard_erb
Wintertime can be harsh on pets, especially when the snow begins to fall. It’s important to know the risks and dangers that await your animal in cold temperatures and how to avoid them, as some can be life-threatening. From the threat of injury by ice to the poisons that might be on the ground and picked up on paws, there are several things to watch out for during the coldest months.
It’s also important to get the family involved in taking care of your pet. Even young children can help out as long as they are taught the right ways to do so. Having everyone in the family on the same page when it comes to making sure your dog is healthy and happy will relieve some of the burden from your shoulders and will ensure your pet gets the best care possible.
Here are a few ways to do just that.
Check your chocolate
Most pet owners know that chocolate can be deadly to dogs, but it’s easy to forget about cocoa treats that might be lying around after the holidays. Make sure all candy is put up, well out of reach of your pet, and instruct your kids to do the same.
Watch for ice
When taking your dog for a walk, be sure to avoid icy areas to prevent falls. This is especially important for older dogs, whose bones are more at risk for breakage. Stick to shoveled areas and always keep your pet on a leash.
Your pet may enjoy spending time outdoors even when the temperatures drop, so make sure he has food and water outside in plastic bowls to avoid freezing. Check the water levels often and add an extra scoop of food to the bowl to help him build up the energy he uses staying warm.
Limit his time outside
Especially if you have an elderly pet, the cold weather could be very bothersome for those with arthritis. Remember, your pet’s fur won’t prevent them from contracting hypothermia or frostbite in very cold temperatures. So, limit your pup’s time outdoors and have a nice warm dog bed for them to lie in indoors.
Check his paws
Going for walks is essential for just about every dog, but the more time your pet spends away from your home, the more he’s apt to walk in something. In the wintertime, this can include antifreeze, salt, and de-icer, all of which are poisonous and can cause great harm if your pet picks them up on his feet and then licks them off. Clean his paws with a warm washcloth after every walk to ensure his pads are healthy and well taken care of.
Leave him home
It might be devastating to think about leaving your pet at home while you go on vacation, but if you’re headed someplace cold and don’t think he can handle it, consider boarding him. Knowing he’s well taken care of will give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your vacation.
This article was contributed by Guest Blogger Janice Miller of Safety Today.