Avoid Dangerous and Expensive Pet Injuries this Winter | Pets
Laura's Critter Care, LLC share tips to prevent common weather-related pet injuries.
Winter can be harsh on pets - especially small animals and smooth-coated breeds. Pets need special attention during the winter months.
Lesions on legs from stepping in snow holes, cuts on paws from walking on ice and illnesses from ingesting toxic chemicals are all typical winter-related pet-injuries. These are injuries that can be avoided if pet owners and caregivers are conscientious.
When possible, Laura's Critter Care, LLC urges pet owners and pet-care providers to consider the following preventive measures for maximum health and safety for their pets this winter:
- Keep all young, old and short-haired pets inside. These types of pets are more vulnerable to cold weather and should not be left outside for long and without supervision.
- Provide shelter for any pets that are left outside. Add straw for additional insulation from the cold and provide a snug, warm bed that does not sit directly on the ground.
- Leave extra food and water in plastic bowls for any pets that are left outside.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect you pet is suffering from either of these conditions.
- Clip the long hair on the bottom of your dog’s feet before the snow and ice fall. This will prevent the build up of ice balls which can be painful and difficult to remove.
- Trim your pet’s nails regularly during the winter. Pets may have a difficult time trying to maintain solid footing in icy conditions with long nails.
- Find a warm place for your pets to sleep. All pets, including small caged pets need to be kept warm and away from drafts.
- Place pet-safe wipes by the door. Ice-melting chemicals and salt can irritate and burn the pads of your pet’s paws. Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s paws when he comes inside.
- Use antifreeze and other household chemicals that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol, which is extremely poisonous to pets.
- Get in the habit of banging on the hood of your car before starting the engine. Cats and wildlife seek warmth and climb into the engine during cold months.
- If winter travel will keep you away from your home and pets, book the services of a professional pet sitter in advance to ensure your pets are safe and comfortable.
Laura Stauffiger is the proprietor of Laura’s Critter Care, LLC, an in your home pet sitting and dog walking service that services Erie and Niagara Counties, and is also a member of Pet Sitters International . For more information visit her website or send an Email.