Even after the snow ends, the frigid, winter air will remain locked over our area with wind chills registering below zero. This is another one of those dangerously cold days. It is imperative that we take a few common sense precautions to be sure that our furry friends are protected. Dr. Kenneth Drobatz, Chief of the Emergency Service at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, offers the following tips:
- When walking a dog, keep it leashed. Avoid icy walkways, as the animal can slip and pull muscles and ligaments. Slips and falls also can aggravate existing conditions like hip dysplasia. If a dog limps after going for a walk, let the animal rest and monitor the situation. If things do not improve after 24 hours, call your veterinarian. Owners of older or overweight dogs should be particularly careful with these animals when they are walked.
- Short-coated and small breed dogs should wear a sweater or coat to keep them warm when going outside.
- When the snow is deep, clear an area where the dog can relieve himself. Many dogs, particularly small ones, will not relieve themselves in deep snow.
- When shoveling snow, keep dogs away. Many dogs like to jump at the snow as it flies from the shovel; however, in their exuberance, they may run into the sharp edge of the shovel and get cut.
- After a walk, a dog’s paws should be washed and dried because salt and other material spread on sidewalks causes irritation to the feet.
- Dogs get cold, just like people. Do not leave a dog outside for extended periods. In very cold temperatures, dogs should not be left outdoors overnight.
- Cats like to climb onto car motors to hide and find warmth. While hiding on the motor, they also like to lick antifreeze that has spilled around the radiator cap. The ethylene glycol in antifreeze has a sweet odor and taste that seems to lure animals. A very small amount of the liquid can be lethal to cats and dogs. If an animal has had contact with contaminated surfaces, seek veterinary attention quickly. When filling the radiator, wipe up any spillage on the engine and under the car.
- Because cats like to hide under the hoods of cars during cold weather, thump the hood a few times before entering a vehicle and turning the key. That will give the animal time to scamper away and not be hurt by the fan or fan belt.
So remember, if it is too cold for you to be outside, then it is too cold for your pet to be outside.
Mark your calendars and plan to visit Braxton’s as they host local rescue organizations in January. These are perfect opportunities to meet some of the wonderful pets available for adoption.
January 26, 2014: Francisvale from 1-3. For more information, click here.