Pet Safety in the Winter: Do's and Don'ts
Winter can be very cold for humans and pets. While preparing for the season, you may not know how to make your pet safe and comfortable. Ideally, know the dangers of exposing your furry friend to cold during winter. Read on to learn what to do and not to do in the winter to ensure pet safety.
Do Stay Indoors
Most pets love outdoor activities. But during winter, being outdoors can get them overly cold. Their tails, paws, and ears are susceptible to getting frostbite. Try to remain indoors and introduce activities they can do in the house to ensure they stay active and in a healthy weight.
Do Not Overfeed Your Pet
You are likely to give your pet a lot of food to help them keep warm during winter. Be attentive to what you feed them to ensure they remain healthy and have energy during winter.
Do Hydrate Your Pet
Winter is a cold season, but your pet can still get dehydrated in the chilly weather. Snow is not a substitute for drinking fresh water. Ensure you give them a bowl of water to hydrate. Replace the water often to avoid giving them frozen water.
Do Not Expose Your Pet to Toxins
The chemicals that melt snow and ice during winter can be sweet for dogs. As a result, your pet can readily drink or lick it. However, antifreeze is very toxic. The effect can be fatal if your pet ingests a small amount. Keep them away from places like the driveway or garage where you may need to melt away the snow.
Do Wipe Your Pet Down When Entering the House
Your pet can get wet and cold when they go out in the snow. They can get hypothermia or a cold if you do not wipe them down. Use a towel to do the wiping once they enter the house.
Do Not Leave Open Flames Unattended
Your pet is likely to gravitate towards warmth when it gets cold. However, supervise it if you have a heating source turned on to ensure it keeps a safe distance to avoid getting burnt.
Do Put a Collar ID on Your Pet
Pets often get lost during winter because they cannot trace their way back home. The snow often hides familiar scents. Ensure you put a well-fitting collar ID or a microchip with updated information to help get them back in case they get lost.
Do Not Leave Your Pet in a Car Alone
Cars cool down very fast during winter. Leaving your pet in a cold vehicle alone can significantly harm their health. Ideally, limit traveling with your pet by car unless necessary. However, never leave them alone in the car.
Do Pay Attention to Hypothermia Signs
Cold weather can cause detrimental effects on your pet if you do not take proper care of them and ensure they remain warm. Always pay close attention to check if they are exhibiting hypothermia signs such as:
Inability to move
They burrow in warm places
Get your pet back indoors immediately after you notice that they are exhibiting such signs. Detecting frostbite may be more complex than hypothermia. Hence, take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect they have frostbite or hypothermia.
For more about pet safety, visit Port Royal Veterinary Hospital at our office in Port Royal, South Carolina. Call 843-379-7387 to book an appointment today.