Does your dog or cat love to play in the snow? Winter wonderland walks here in Grantsburg and Pine City are unbeatable. The snow blanketing branches, icicles sparkling, and picturesque Christmas lights give our area a unique beauty during winter. And out pets just make these scenes a little more special!
We want you to make the most of winter with your pet while keeping her safe. Enjoy the beauty of our surrounding areas and keep these safety tips in mind.
Limit Length of Outdoor Activities to Avoid Hypothermia
Our dogs and cats have winter coats that can help them handle the cold, but their fur is not enough to keep them warm enough at all times. This means your pet is not immune to hypothermia.
When your pet’s coat gets wet it loses its ability to insulate your pet. If the snow is getting slushy and you notice your pet’s coat is damp, bring her inside so they can warm up.
When walking your dog, watch for signs of hypothermia. The most obvious symptoms include
- Shaking and trembling
- A drop in body temperature
- Lowered heart rate
- Trouble walking
- Strained breathing
- Dilated pupils
Avoid Using Rodent Poisons
Pets have a tendency to be attracted to the same bait rodents are drawn to. Dogs and cats can also hunt and consume rodents that have ingested poison. These poisons are meant to kill and they can kill or seriously injure your pet.
To skip the possibility of accidentally poisoning your pet (or a neighbor’s) opt for alternative methods to control rodents.
Ice Melts Can Damage Paws
Unless your dog or cat wears shoes, she’s at risk of injuring her paws if she walks on ice melts and deicers. Most ice-melts are made from salts and calcium chloride. These both damage and irritate pets’ paws and cause digestive irritation if your pet licks them off her paws. Some of the crystals are sharp and can bruise or cut paws.
Be sure to avoid walking your dog where ice melts have been sprinkled. And rinse then wipe your dog or cat’s paws after she’s been outside.
Antifreeze Is Fatal for Pets
Cats and dogs both die each year from consuming antifreeze. Don’t let your pet become one of them. Always keep antifreeze out of reach the cap tightly secured. If you’re adding antifreeze to your car, clean up any drips or spills afterward. It only takes a teaspoon for a cat to become ill and even die from antifreeze and just a tablespoon or a little more for a dog to get sick.
Avoid Ice on Walks
One danger some pet parents forget about is the strain and possible injury pets suffer after slipping, tripping, or falling on ice. Have you ever fallen while ice skating? It hurts and bruises. The same is true when your dog stumbles on ice.
When a pet’s leg slips out from under her, it can also strain her muscles and joints. Pets even tear ligaments and tendons from slipping on ice.
Snow can also hide fallen branches that make your pet go flying.
Keep your dog on-leash during walks to keep her from tumbling over hidden dangers and avoid icy areas.
Never let your cat or dog walk on a frozen pond or lake since they can fall through.
Visibility on Walks is a Must
As our days shrink, be sure you, your dog or cat can be easily seen. Use a reflective vest on your dog or a break-away reflective collar on your cat to make them easier for drivers to see. You can also wear bright colors to help you be seen on walks.
Safely Enjoy Our Beautiful Town This Winter with Your Pet
We hope you enjoy this winter wonderland we call “home” with your pet! All it takes is a bit of precaution, preparation, and awareness to keep your pet safe and maximize your joy this winter. Give us a call.
Photo Credit: Pixabay