Winter sneaks in on the tails of fall with the weather growing colder and harsher as the days pass by. The cold days and long nights present some of the same dangers we have seen before and some new one, keep these in mind this season so that your faithful companions is healthy and safe.
Snow – Many dogs love snow, I know mine does. Even if a dog does not, he may still have to go outside to tie himself. Depending on the size some snow can be difficult to get through so if your dog goes out unattended, keep an eye out to make sure he does not get stuck or strike something in the snow, not to mention how sharp a piece of ice can Be. When the snow is too deep for our sheltie, we often shovel out a path or two for him to navigate when going to potty. When the pooch comes in, check between his toes to make sure there is no ice stuck in there.
Cold – There used to be a commercial that would say "Cold Hurts"; I think it was for a heating fund. Well, do not think that the cold just hurts people, it can hurt dogs too. Do not leave your pooch out too long, like a child they do not always know when to come in. If your dog lives outside, make sure he has a warm refuge from the cold, that is draft free, also do not forget to make sure her water is not frozen. And remember, if it gets too cold bringing them inside and out of the cold.
Antifreeze – Antifreeze is a danger any time of the year and it seems every part of the year has it own inherent reason this brew is potentially found on the ground. Dogs love this sweet tasting stuff and it takes a very small amount to kill them. If you see your pet drinking antifreeze, get them to a vet as soon as possible. If your dog appears toxicated, it may have ingested antifreeze and needs immediate attention. Do not wait! Although your dog may appear to get better, he's not. Be suspicious of any vomiting and increased thirst as these are possibly symptoms of poisoning. Make sure there is no antifreeze within reach, old or new. Make sure you dispose of discarded antifreeze properly. Finally make sure to take care of any leaks.
Ice Treats – Be careful when your out and about on cold days. Road treatments used to break up and melt ice can be toxic to dogs. If they are used in your area, it is a good idea to wipe her feet off when you return home.
Christmas Foods – There are a variety of foods that are not good for your dog. Chocolate, almonds and peaches are among the list and we often have foods in the house during the holiday season we may not have around during the rest of the year. If you do not know something is okay do not give it to your dog.
Christmas Decorations – If your dog is a chewer, make sure any lighting wires are out of reach, also be careful about tree ornaments.
Fire and Heaters – This is pretty obvious but watch your dogs skin for signs of being too dry, like excessive itching and consult your vet about possible treatments.
Keep your pet safe this winter and always consult a veterinary professional with questions or concerns.