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Practical Tips for Winter Pet Safety

As the bitter cold falls upon us, it is time to make some changes to our pet’s regular outdoor routines. While some outdoor cats or dogs may enjoy the snow and cool weather, many pets would rather have a warm place to relax. Here are several helpful tips to ensure your pet has a safe, warm, and happy winter. 

Ensure Your Pet Gets a Break from the Cold 

Even if your pet is an avid fan of running in the snow, they will eventually need a break from the cold. With the severe temperature drops at night, animals are susceptible to harmful winter emergencies such as frostbite or hypothermia. If your pet is not an indoor animal or refuses to come into the house before you go to bed, be sure to provide them with a dry, draft-free enclosure so they can remain protected from the cold.  

Beware of the Harmful Chemicals in Salt or Antifreeze

With winter comes the dreaded slippery ice that has us fearing falls while walking up the driveway. While ice will not harm your animal more than a mild slip, the salt used to combat the ice poses a significant threat. The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice are hazardous to your pet’s paws and can cause further spread of infection or irritation if your pet licks or ingests the substance. Be sure to frequently wipe your pet’s paws to remove any salt or chemical residue. Using pet shoes on your daily walks can protect sensitive paws, but they may also take some getting used to. 

Schedule a Visit to Your Local Veterinarian 

The most effective method of staying ahead of your pet’s safety and health throughout the winter is scheduling a regular check-up with your trusted veterinarian. Your veterinarian can provide you with helpful insight into your pet’s health. In the event of a winter pet emergency, don’t hesitate to reach out to an emergency veterinary hospital in your area. 

Post 4: What to Do When Your Pet Falls Victim to a Winter Hazard 

With the change of seasons comes a new list of potential pet dangers that owners must look out for to keep their pets safe, happy, and healthy. Unfortunately, accidents happen. In the blink of an eye, your pet can fall victim to a winter hazard, despite your best efforts. When these situations occur, it is essential to take appropriate measures to stabilize your pet until you can reach your trusted emergency veterinarian. 

Be Proactive 

The best way to handle potential winter safety hazards is to prevent them in the first place. Aim to keep your pet indoors as much as possible. When they do go outside, keep it minimal. If you take your pet for a walk, be sure they are as bundled up as you are, fully equipped with booties and a jacket, as cold, wet fur can contribute to hypothermia. 

Keep Your Pet Warm

If your pet’s temperature drops and they begin showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite, it is crucial to keep them warm until you can get them to your trusted veterinarian. You can try to bring up their body temperature by wrapping them in a blanket or a heating pad. You may also use a hot water bottle covered in a towel and place it next to your pet’s body. It is important to ensure heated items are not too hot and not placed directly on their skin. 

Contact Your Veterinarian

If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, it is vital to get them to your local emergency veterinary hospital immediately. If the symptoms of hypothermia are not treated promptly, your pet faces the risk of falling into a coma, organ failure, or even death. Frostbite has several degrees of severity but should still be treated as an emergency until a veterinary professional can confirm your pet’s condition.

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