While pets do have a built-in winter coat, there are still many dangers for them in the winter season that you need to watch out for.
As the temperatures keep dropping to the point that you do not even want to leave the house, you need to remember that pets only have so much fur.
When your cat or dog’s body temperature drops below the normal range of 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, they can suffer potentially from hypothermia. And if this is left untreated, hypothermia can lead to a coma, heart failure, and death. However, hypothermia is not the only concern as frostbite can come along with it due to the fact that blood flow is restricted from their limbs, feet, ears, etc. to preserve the vital organs. Look for signs of shivering and paleness in your pets this winter season.
The antifreeze that you may find yourself using to top off your car’s radiator holds a fatal ingredient—ethylene glycol. There are three stages of antifreeze poisoning in pets:
Stage One: Within 30 minutes to 12 hours, drooling, vomiting, and “drunk” walking.
Stage Two: Within 12-24 hours, clinical signs will seem to be “resolved” even though severe internal injury is occurring.
Stage Three: Between 12-24 hours for cats and 36-72 hours for dogs, acute kidney failure, possible seizures, or coma.
If you have a pet that spends time outside or in the garage, you need to be aware of some places they may go to warm up. In particular, cats like to get warm under the car or even under the hood. This can be extremely dangerous and can lead to tragedy if you’re not careful.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is another hazard when pets spend time in the garage. The key is to not leave a car running in a closed garage, which is bad not only for pets but for you as well.
4. Rock Salt
During the winter people tend to get salt happy on the sidewalks, and they may not look to buy pet-safe ice-melting products. Salts that aren’t specifically pet-safe can end up irritating and chapping your pet’s paws. Check your pet’s feet when they come inside to make sure salt isn’t wedged between their toes or even buy them boots for the wintertime.
If your pet consumes salt in sufficient quantities, this can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, and even death in certain circumstances. As always, it is good to check with your vet should your pet’s behavior change.
5. Rodenticides/Other Pest Sprays
In the winter, rodents and other pests seek out the warmth of your home. However, before you go crazy spraying every square inch of your home for pests, remember many poisons harm pets as well. Today, there are many pet-friendly sprays that you can buy or request from companies to keep your furry friend safe, but keep out the pests you don't want.
Please remember that Pekin Insurance® is not a licensed veterinarian, and you should always consult your veterinarian with concerns to your pet’s health.