Pet Behavior Tips
Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter
The winter can be hard on your pets. Here are some tips to keep them safe:
- Keep antifreeze away from pets. If it spills or leaks, clean thoroughly immediately. If you think your pet has ingested any, call your veterinarian immediately! Antifreeze is poisonous and death can take place if treatment isn't started within hours.
- Protect your pets' footpads from rock salt and ice. Check between the toes for salt pellets and ice. If they do come in contact with rock salt, wash their feet thoroughly. Ice should be removed as well. Consider baby oil, cooking spray or booties for protection.
- Dogs still need exercise during cold months. During severe weather, try playing indoor games like hide 'n seek. Also try several short outdoor playtimes. You may need to reduce calories if your dog tends to pack on the pounds during the winter. (If your dog lives outdoors, you may actually need to increase his daily calories.)
- Consider a jacket for short-haired dogs.
- Brush your pets regularly to help distribute the skin's natural oils.
- Supervise your pets near space heaters and fireplaces.
- If your dog stays outdoors, make sure he has clean, dry bedding, has a flap over the door to protect from winds and, if possible, elevate his doghouse. Check on him at least twice a day. In extreme conditions even outdoor dogs need to be brought indoors.
- Make sure your outdoor dogs' water isn't frozen.
- Outdoor dogs may actually need more food in the winter to keep them healthy.