BY: Laurie Brzostowski, President, Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care-Round Lake, IL
Brrrrrr... it's cold outside. At least where I live. I live in Northern Illinois and we have had some severe cold weather recently. And since we take care of animals for a living I decided to write a post about some winter safety tips for your pets.
Below are just tips to keep in mind during the winter months to keep your pets safe:
- Ice Melt: A lot of states put down ice melt on roads, driveways, sidewalks, etc. This ice melt is actually a chemical and can cause severe chemical burns if it gets in between the pads of your dogs paws. Best thing to do is rinse your dogs paws after each walk in a bowl of warm water making sure you get in between the pads.
- Walking: If you are walking your dog every day or a couple of times a day, make sure you keep an eye on the temperature. Dogs can get hypothermia just like people do. Their paws, eyes, ears, nose can all freeze when the temperatures drop. Best thing to do is walk long enough to do their potty business and then bring them inside for extra playtime.
- Outdoor Cats/Dogs: If you have outdoor dogs or cats you can make their lives a little more comfortable while outside in cold temperatures. Try building them an outdoor shelter. There are many links on Google to help you in determining the products required to build it. Also make sure they have plenty of fresh water and food. Make sure the food and water bowls are plastic and not metal. Their tongues may stick to metal.
- Lots of Fresh Water: All pets require a bit more water during the dry winter months. You may already be noticing your dog or cat drinking more. The dry heat from furnaces etc., tend to dry everyone out (dogs, cats, people). Keep plenty of fresh drinking water out and on hand.
- Car Engines: Be careful with outdoor cats and wildlife. Warm engines in a parked car can attract cats and wildlife looking for a warm place to cozy up. To avoid injury, bang on your car hood a few times to scare them out before getting in the car and starting the engine.
- Antifreeze Poisoning: Avoid antifreeze poisoning by wiping up any spills and store antifreeze up and away from pets and children.