Winter Dangers For Dogs
Winter Dangers For Dogs. The winter can be a time of excitement for many dogs. Dogs enjoy the cold, especially long coated dogs, and may have a great time romping and playing in the snow. However, with the change in season come some potential health risks for your pet that you need to be aware of and dangers you need to avoid.
There are several dangers that, although they are not deadly, will cause your dog discomfort and problems. Walking on sidewalks that have been sprinkled with salt to melt snow can irritate your dog’s sensitive paws. You should ensure that you soak your dog’s feet in warm water and/or wipe all the salt from their paws when you return from a walk. You may also wish to purchase protective shoes for your dog if you walk in areas where there is a great deal of salt sprinkled. Some pet owners recommend spraying the bottom of your dog’s feet with Pam or another type of cooking spray before venturing out into the cold, as this too can provide a protection from harsh salt. However, your dog may try to lick this off his paws, and although it would not hurt him, it would diminish the protective effect.
A dry nose caused by an overheated house can also be an irritant for some dogs in the winter. You should monitor your dogs nose condition, touching it occasionally to ensure it is sufficiently wet and paying careful attention to cracks in the skin around the nose or other signs that your dog is irritated. A simple coat of Vaseline on a dry nose can provide comfort to your pet and relieve the dryness.
The biggest risk to dogs during wintertime is accidental ingestion of antifreeze. Antifreeze is a common substance used in cars and other vehicles. Unfortunately, it also has a very sweet smell and taste that can be quite attractive to dogs if the dog is given access to a bottle of antifreeze or a spilled puddle left on the garage floor. Lapping up even a small amount of spilled antifreeze can be deadly to a dog. Since no one wants to have to purchase pet grave marker or pet urn for a young pet who has died due to accidentally consuming poison, it is essential that you make sure this toxic substance stays far from your pets curious taste buds. Pet loss is something that we all want to put off as long as possible.
Finally, it is essential that you do not leave your dog outside without proper access to a heated shelter. Although dogs do have fur and can withstand colder temperatures than humans, they are still subject to discomfort, hypothermia, and even freezing if left for too long in very cold temperatures without proper shelter. Depending on the size and temperament of your dog, a dog house may be sufficient, but many dogs- especially small dogs- require more access to heat than a simple dog house can provide.
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