With the winter months upon us, it will be cold and snowy before we know it. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy watching the snow fall outside the window with your cat, play outside in the snow with your dog, and enjoy a great holiday movie snuggled up with your furry companion. However, the winter months pose several significant dangers to your pet. Fortunately, by being mindful of these dangers, you can easily protect your companion from them.
Antifreeze kills cats and dogs alike. Antifreeze attracts cats and dogs with its sweet taste, and unless a pet who ingests it is treated immediately, it is almost always fatal. If you use antifreeze, keep the container sealed and out of your pet’s reach. Clean up any spills or leaks immediately. Instead of using antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol, consider using a product that contains propylene glycol.
Space heaters may be convenient, but they are also dangerous when you have a furry companion in the house. Numerous fires are started every year when pets knock over space heaters in the home.
An HVAC system tuned up by a company like Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air will help you keep yourself and your pet warm and cozy without posing a fire risk to your home. Temperature regulation in your home is especially important if your dog has short fur or if you have a Sphynx cat, a hairless cat, who needs a consistently warm environment to stay healthy.
De-icing products used on roads and sidewalks are poisonous to cats and dogs. Signs that your pet has ingested a de-icing agent include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, an uncoordinated walk, abnormal fluid accumulation in the body, tremors, excessive thirst or urination, seizures, coma, and death.
You can easily avoid this danger by putting booties on your dog’s feet whenever you go for a walk. Alternatively, wash your pet’s feet with lukewarm water every time your pet comes inside from the outdoors. Use a pet-safe de-icing product on your own sidewalk and driveway.
If a cat or dog is outside in the cold for too long, he can develop frostbite or hypothermia. Monitor your pet when he’s outside. Putting a coat or sweater on your pet for walks when the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will help protect him from the cold weather.
Outdoor cats will often curl up under car hoods to stay warm. Unfortunately, when the car is started, a cat can be injured or even killed. Before you start your car, hit the hood of your car a few times to scare any cats out that might have sought refuge there.
There are many winter flowers and plants you can use to decorate your home. However, some plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Some dangerous winter plants include amaryllis, mistletoe, kaffir lilies, chrysanthemums, Christmas roses, holly, and poinsettias. Ingestion of toxic plants can lead to anything from vomiting and diarrhea to incoordination and seizures, depending on what plant and how much is consumed. It’s best to avoid having toxic plants in your home. Instead, consider Christmas cactus, Christmas daggers, Christmas orchids, or jasmine to brighten your home during the winter months.
The winter months pose many dangers to cats and dogs. Fortunately, you can easily protect your pet from these dangers by taking a few simple steps.