10 Winter Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs
As winter sets in the days become shorter, the temperature drops and the snow starts to fly. Some cats and dogs will be curious – enjoying every chance to have fun outside while others will prefer the warmth of the house. For you as a responsible pet owner, this season means taking a quick moment to reacquaint oneself with some basic winter pet care tips.
Winter Pet Tip #1
The first tip is to avoid salted pavement. The salt used to melt ice on streets, sidewalks and staircases can severely irritate cat and dog feet and when they lick their feet to clean them they can suffer stomach and intestinal irritation. There are products on the market designed to melt snow that won’t make your pets sick but not everyone uses them. The easiest way to avoid potential problems is to rinse their feet when they come in.
Winter Pet Tip #2
You may have heard that anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol – which is extremely deadly for animals. But did you know that anti-freeze has a sweet taste that is attractive to animals? Protect your dog from anti-freeze by avoiding suspicious leaks around cars, or getting near a container. Make sure you store anti-freeze carefully and that your vehicle doesn’t leak. Better yet, use a safer product that doesn’t contain ethylene glycol. There are several on the market and though they cost a little more, think of the vet bill and tragedy you could be avoiding.
Winter Pet Tip #3
When driving somewhere, check for cats under the car first before you start your engine. Cats like to climb onto and into recently parked cars to stay warm. Before you start your car, knock on the hood to warn any unsuspecting feline that it’s time to get out of there. Look at your wheel wells and under the vehicle to be sure no one is sleeping there.
Winter Pet Tip #4
Have an outdoor pet? Be sure that he or she has shelter from the wind, snow and ice. A sturdy dog house with some form of bedding will help. Animals all need a supply of freshwater. Check water bowls frequently to be sure they’re not frozen. As an extra tip, make sure you dog is properly groomed for winter.
Winter Pet Tip #5
Wintertime means holiday foods and candies. Be very careful not to leave any unattended foods – especially chocolates. Raisins and grapes are also toxic to some dogs. The artificial sweetener Xylitol is deadly to dogs and cats. Xylitol is found in sugar-free gum and some candies. Check the labels carefully.
Winter Pet Tip #6
Some plants that we find around the holidays can be toxic or irritants to dogs and cats. Poinsettia plants produce an irritating liquid that can burn an animal’s mouth and throat and cause stomach distress. Keep them well out of reach. Holly berries and mistletoe can be deadly.
Winter Pet Tip #7
Space heaters can not only cause a burn to a pet that gets too close but if knocked over or moved slightly can cause house fires.
Winter Pet Tip #8
Decorations – especially tinsel is very attractive to animals, especially cats. It sparkles when it moves and can lure an otherwise well-behaved pet. Chewing tinsel, which is metallic, can cut up the esophagus and intestinal walls.
Winter Pet Tip #9
Candles can be dangerous. Never leave candles unattended. Keep candles high enough so curious dogs can’t reach them and if you have cats, remember they can go almost anywhere to check out an interesting item. Keep candles away from curtains, and other flammables. A slight nudge from a curious kitty can cause disaster, not only for the cat but for the entire family.
Winter Pet Tip #10
Very young, very old, and those cats and dogs who are recovering from illness or surgery have more trouble maintaining their body heat. They feel the cold more than others. A warm blanket in their bed and a doggy sweater when they go outside will greatly help comfort your pet. Remember to keep the outdoor time short and be sure they have a warm spot to rest when they come back in.
Owning a pet is a full-time responsibility and savvy pet owners know that additional vigilance is required during this season, especially if you’re planning a winter vacation. Maintaining a comfortable routine with your cat or dog will help affirm boundaries and keep both owner and pet happy. Remember, at Jet Pet Resort we strive to maintain a worry-free boarding facility so that when you leave your pet with us – you know that you have left it with the best care providers in the greater Vancouver area. If you’re going to be running around this holiday season, consider leaving your pet at our doggie daycare!