Wintertime Pet Hazards

Exposure to the winter’s dry, cold air, snow, and ice can cause problems for your dog resulting in dry, flaky skin and chapped paws. Different threats and hazards can put our pets at risk during the wintertime season, including dangerous chemicals from ice-melting agents that can be licked from your pet’s paws. With preparation and Proper Care, steps can be taken to make sure your pet is safe during this time of year.

Although we admire our pet’s fur coats for its aesthetic beauty, and seemingly warm compilation, this plush fur is not the perfect form of insulation, especially during the wintertime. Extreme weather events can trigger hypothermia, especially in short coated or hairless breeds or when a pet’s coat gets wet. In particular, your pet’s nose, toes, and ears are more susceptible to hypothermia. It is important to keep your home humidified during this time of year, and use a towel to dry off your pet after a walk. You should remove any snow and excess moisture that has accumulated on his or her footpads.

Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is an odorless, colorless, liquid that makes up nearly 95% of car antifreeze. It is extremely toxic to pets, and ingestion results in kidney damage and failure. This type of poisoning typically occurs when antifreeze drips from a car radiator, or if it is spilled onto the ground when being transferred to the car engine. Owing to its sweet taste, your pet may be tempted to lick or drink the spillage off of the floor or lick their paws off after running through the antifreeze puddle, ingesting the Toxin into their bodies. You should be sure to clean up any spill from your vehicle in the event that this liquid drips off from your car, and to keep antifreeze away from your pet.

De-icers are used to prevent freezing on sidewalks, however they pose another hazard to pets. The chemical agents from these salts can cause electrolyte imbalances if ingested. These also can cause damage to their paws. Make sure to walk your pet in areas away from the ice and avoid areas where your pet may break through ice which they are walking on top of.

While the wintertime brings holiday fun, sledding, and hot cocoa with it can also bring dangerous hazards to your pets. Using caution during inclement weather and extreme temperatures can help keep your pet safe during this time of year.