Cold Weather Hazards for Your Pets
Cold stress is a syndrome that happens when the body can no longer maintain its usual temperature. Severe injuries with lasting tissue damage or death are possible outcomes. If cold weather can cause serious issues to humans, imagine how severe of a threat it can be to our pets. As pet owners, we might know the risks of warm temperatures and leaving our pets in hot cars. But there needs to be more information about how the winters also pose severe threats to your pets' health.
Like humans, cats and dogs should be kept indoors since they can get frostbite and hypothermia. Huskies and other breeds born for colder climates have longer hair and thicker coats, making them more tolerant of cold weather. However, no pet should be outside in below-freezing temperatures for extended periods. The following could be the consequences of this happening.
● The main danger to animals outdoors in freezing weather is frostbite.
● A viral ailment that primarily affects dogs in the winter is canine infectious tracheobronchitis, generally known as kennel cough.
● When your dog is exposed to low temperatures for an extended amount of time, hypothermia can develop. If it is not addressed soon, hypothermia can be fatal. During the colder months, pets with diabetes and heart conditions are more susceptible to hypothermia.
● When it comes to domestic pets, antifreeze poisoning is relatively common and can be lethal. In homes where antifreeze is used to winterize the pipes, pets may lick the liquid off sidewalks, driveways, rock salt, and garage floors or even drink it out of toilet bowls because it contains ethylene glycol. This chemical gives the substance a pleasant taste and attracts them to it.
Some precautions that can be taken during the winter times:
● Remain inside. During the winter, you should keep cats and dogs indoors. It's a myth that dogs and cats are more tolerant of cold temperatures than humans because of their coats, so be more conscious of how they might feel, stay at home and have a day in with your pet.
● Paw check. Check your dog's paws every so often for injuries or damage caused by the cold, such as bleeding or split paw pads. A sudden lameness while walking could result from an injury or ice buildup between your pet's toes. Trimming the hair between your dog's toes can lower the likelihood of an iceball accumulation.
● More clothes will be useful. Consider buying your dog a sweater or coat if they show discomfort in the cold or have a short coat. To prevent any accident from happening and make sure that you can provide a dry sweater or coat every time your dog goes outside, have a few on hand.
● Be prepared. Cold temperatures can increase your likelihood of experiencing severe winter weather, blizzards, and power outages. Make an emergency kit, and remember to include your pet in your plans. Have at least five days' worth of supplies of food, water, and medicines (including any prescription drugs, heartworm, and flea/tick preventives).
Contact your closest veterinarian if you notice anything abnormal with your pet!
Staten Island Veterinary Group is committed to compassionate care and a warm, respectful relationship with pet owners, assisting you in making crucial decisions regarding the treatment and well-being of your pet. We are situated near the West Shore Expressway on the Island's central west side. We are close by and prepared to address the medical issues your pets might be experiencing. Visit us or contact us today to learn more!