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Cold Weather Pet Safety

Posted by IKO Community Management on December 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

While pet owners may be extra cautious of their pet’s health, comfort and safety during the warm summer months, do you know how to protect your pets in the ice and snow? There are many hazards that pets come in contact with during the winter months, and IKO Community Management wants to help you and your pets avoid them! Here are some cold weather pet safety tips:

Watch the Paws – Cold weather can cause the pads of your dog’s feet to crack. Make sure you check your dog’s feet before and after you go outside. Try to steer clear of sharp ice, and dry your dog’s feet after being outside. If your dog’s feet do crack, there are some home remedies to try, but remember that this is very painful for your dog. If the cracks are too severe take him to the vet.

Mr. Yuck – Antifreeze is toxic to your pets and other animals in your community. Wipe up even the smallest spills immediately to avoid an animal licking it up. Wipe down your pets after they’ve been outside to remove antifreeze residue (as well as deicers or other chemicals) to prevent them from licking it from their fur.

With holiday baking in full swing, make sure that all ingredients are locked up out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate, xylitol, onions and a whole list of other foods can be harmful to your pets. Don’t risk your pets getting into something they shouldn’t! Remind your kids of the importance of putting food and scraps away.

Tracking - Snowfall and ice buildup can mask smells that your pets are used to. This may prevent them from finding their way home if they get outside without your supervision. Make sure that your pets have the proper tags including one with your contact information. An implanted chip is a great investment. If your pet is taken to a vet or animal shelter they will be scanned for a chip that will contain your contact information. This is an extra precaution, just in case your pet loses their collar or slips outside after bath time.

Food and Water – Pets need plenty of water to help regulate their body temperatures in winter too! Make sure that they have access to water.

While some pet owners may think that some extra weight will help their pet stay warmer in the winter, being overweight isn’t healthy for you pet. While outdoor pets would require extra calories to stay warm, your indoor pets should be fine. If you’re concerned about your pet’s dietary needs, speak with your veterinarian.

Bundle Up – If your pet has a thin coat, consider investing in a sweater or vest for your pet. This will help them stay warm while taking walks or playing in the snow with your family. Keep 2 so that you can exchange soaked items for dry options. Do not put wet sweaters on your animals as this will cause them to become chilled quicker.

Winter Health – The cold weather and precipitation can put additional stress on your pets, especially if they’re older. It’s a good idea to schedule a preventative checkup with your vet. It’s better to be safe than risk your pet being in pain.

Car Rides – Like in the heat of summer, your vehicle magnifies the cold of winter when it’s not running. Leaving your pet in the cold can cause them to become chilled and lead to serious health issues.

IKO hopes that you and your pets stay warm and comfy during these cold winter months! Follow these tips and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

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Topics: Homeowners