Keeping your pet safe in the winter months
for keeping you cat or dog safe in the winter months
winter months can be hard on your cat and dog. Here are some tips
from Dr. Susan Nelson, assistant professor of veterinary medicine
at Kansas State University, to keep your pet safe when the temperature
all antifreeze away from pets. It has a sweet taste, is very palatable
and does not take very much to kill your pet. Clean up any spills
as soon as possible. If you think your pet has ingested any, seek
medical attention immediately. It is important to start treatment
within the first few hours to try to reduce the damage to the kidneys.
Untreated animals usually die from kidney failure.
salt used to melt ice and snow can cause irritation to pet footpads/skin
and to their gastrointestinal tract if ingested. You can protect
your pet by putting baby oil, cooking spray or dog booties on their
feet. Make sure to thoroughly wash off the feet and body if your
pet does come into contact with the rock salt.
a jacket for short-coated dogs when outside.
houses should not be too big, because heat is not conserved in a
house too large for the dog. The dog should be able to get up and
turn around comfortably, with the ceiling just high enough to clear
the dog’s head. The dog house should have airtight walls, and it’s
best if the door faces south or west. Instead of using blankets
that hold moisture and mat down, use clean straw or hay. It’s also
good to have a flap over the door to keep out wind and precipitation.
your dog or cat to acclimate to the weather if it hasn’t been out
much. Bring in pets if possible in subfreezing conditions and harsh
winds. Check on your pet at least once or twice a day.
make sure your pet has fresh, clean water. Check the water regularly
to make sure it’s not frozen.
needs more food if he or she stays outside in the winter, because
they need more calorie intake to produce extra body heat. On the
other hand, indoor dogs should generally be fed less during the
give your pet holiday food — alcoholic beverages, candy, chocolate,
turkey and dressing, pork, fish, bones — as all can cause vomiting,
diarrhea or pancreatitis. Also, many people do not realize that
chocolate can be a poison. Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning
include hyperexcitability, nervousness, vomiting and diarrhea and
can result in death. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the
a "safe" place for your pet when company is over for the
holidays. Some animals get very nervous or distressed with a house
full of guests.
paraphernalia — pine needles, ornaments, yarn, tinsel, ribbons,
etc. — can be harmful to pets if ingested. These things all need
to be kept out of a pet’s reach.
and kittens like the warmth of car engines. Slap the hood of your
car and honk your horn before starting your car in the morning if
you own a cat or there are any cats in the neighborhood.
has been at K-State since the fall of 2003. Prior to that she served
as an associate veterinarian at a small animal hospital in Manhattan
for 14 years. Nelson received her bachelor’s degree from Hastings
College and her doctorate of veterinary medicine from K-State in
: Pet Supplies Review