Winter Weather Hazards for Dogs and Cats

 

Winter Weather Hazards for Dogs and Cats
Source: (By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, About.com Guide)

Winter Weather Pet Care in CanadaAs most dog and cat lovers know, winter in Canada can be very challenged for their four-legged friends. Here are list some of winter weather Hazards for dogs and cats may help you to pay an extra cautions:

Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)

Cats and dogs are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze, and will often sample some if left out in a container or spilled on the garage floor.

Antifreeze is highly toxic - it is rapidly absorbed (initial signs appear approximately one hour post-ingestion), and there is a high mortality rate. Other sources of this deadly chemical are: heat exchange fluids (sometimes used in solar collectors), some brake and transmissions fluids as well as diethylene glycol used in color film processing.

Arthritis and Winter

Cold, damp weather aggravates arthritis in dogs and cats. Arthritis can appear in young pets, but is most common in the middle age and geriatric pets. A fracture can also make the bone susceptible to arthritis after the injury is healed. Overweight pets suffer from arthritis more than their normal-weight counterparts.

If your dog or cat is having trouble getting up or laying down, navigating the stairs, or has started to snap or cry when picked up, please contact The Granville Island Veterinary Hospital by phone at 604-734-7744 immediately.

Pets need to have fresh water at all times

Make sure the water is not frozen during this time of year.

Contrary to what some people think, animals do not know how to break the ice. (OK, some may have learned this trick, but they are in the minority). Heated pet bowls are a solution for frigid temperatures. These bowls are very handy to have during the cold winter months, and are available in stainless steel or plastic. You can find them at most pet supply vendors and feed stores.

Pets that live outdoors may need additional food (calories) to sustain body temperature as well. Please check with our best Veterinarians  by phone at 604-734-7744 to decide if your pet needs additional nutritional intake.

Staying Fit

As always, exercise is important. If there is snow on the ground, check your pet's paws for ice balls or injuries. Rinse feet off if your pet has walked where de-icers have been used. Some de-icers are toxic when ingested (when pet licks paws). If your pet is having difficulty exercising due to depth of snow, slick icy surfaces, or appears to be winded, shorten the usual exercise times and monitor for any unusual signs.

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