Deadliest Outdoor Dangers for Pets this Winter

cat under car tire

Avoiding Winter Hazards

Winter is often full of wonderment and joy for people and pets alike, but there are also dangers associated with the most frigid of seasons — especially outdoors. Read on for the 5 deadliest outdoor dangers for pets this winter, and contact your veterinarian or nearest animal hospital if you suspect something is wrong with your dog or cat.

1. Antifreeze

Whether it’s from a spill while topping off your car’s radiator or from a leak, antifreeze (coolant) is a danger to pets. Antifreeze, which is often sweet in taste and brightly colored, contains an ingredient that can be fatal to dogs and cats if not treated immediately after consumption — ethylene glycol. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, there are three stages of antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats: 1) Drooling, vomiting and signs of walking “drunk” occurs within 30 minutes to 12 hours.

2) Clinical signs seem to “resolve” despite severe internal injury occurs within 12-24 hours.
3) Acute kidney failure and possibly seizures or coma between 12-24 hours for cats and 36-72 hours for dogs.

2. Cars

Many pets like to warm up in the winter by snuggling up to the car exhaust of an idling car or, for some cats, under the hood of the car. This poses several threats. Pets may be inadvertently run over by the car once it starts moving, or get tangled up in the engine’s parts. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another hazard for pets if the car is left running with the garage door closed. Avoid tragedy by always checking under the hood and under the car when returning to a car running idle, and never leaving a car running in a closed garage.

3. Rodenticides

Poisoning from rodenticides (mouse and rat poisons) is one of the most common types of toxicities managed by animal hospitals and veterinarians. These poisons are often used more during the winter, when rodents seek the warmth of our homes and office buildings. Unfortunately, our pets tend to find them too. There are four common active ingredients in mouse and rat poisons: long-acting anticoagulants, cholecalciferol, bromethalin, and phosphide rodenticides. All can be dangerous, even deadly, for dogs and cats depending on the quantity ingested.

4. Hypothermia

Your pet may have a built-in fur coat, but that doesn’t mean they are any less prone to the severe effects of the cold. In fact, when the body temperature of a dog or cat drops below the normal range of 100-102.5°F (with an approximate +/- 0.5 degree differential), they begin to suffer from hypothermia. If left untreated, it may lead to coma, heart failure and death. Additionally, frostbite may occur as blood flow to the extremities (limbs, feet, ears, etc.) of animals suffering from hypothermia is restricted in order to preserve the vital organs (brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs). Watch out for the initial signs of hypothermia in dogs and cats such as paleness and intense shivering, especially if your pet is older or sick.

5. Road/Sidewalk De-icers (Rock Salt)

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Stylish and healthy holidays

holiday safety tips for pets and pet lovers

Before glasses are raised for holiday toasts and delicious food is served, take a moment to give thanks for how wonderful our pets make our lives.

Keep your holiday stylish and healthy with keeping a few quick tips in mind.

1. Happy Pets, Happy People

With the diversity of smells, sounds and people during your holiday gatherings, too much stimulation (especially for puppies and seniors) can cause stress. Keep tails wagging with all-natural, USA-made, and super healthy treats, such as new Natural Value™ meat sticks, tenders and sausages, to entice friendly introductions and foster happy social gatherings.

2. Celebrate Your Pup’s Personality.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear clients and furry friends!

Thank you!

Do dogs need a sweaters in winter?

Red-Dog-Snowsuit-on-Chihuahua_lg

It was a nice little snowstorm today in Santa Fe, NM.  Days before was cold and windy. Did your dog switched to it’s winter clothing? My chihuahuas definitely did.  If you are concerned about your dog being cold, there is certainly no harm in putting clothing on him. Your dog really do not care about the color or style you dress him, but you do! So go ahead and get (or make) the matching owner-pet-sweater-combos. Believe me, your dog will love the attention you show him while putting the clothes on, so just have fun while you both stay warm!

Finding a Good Sweater

Once you have decided to get a sweater for your dog, you will need to begin by considering material. While wool is very warm and one of the best insulating materials, take into account how often it will need to be washed, and whether it will make your dog more uncomfortable due to itching. A good blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic may be the best bet.

Second, just as you would measure your own neck, chest and waist before buying a piece of clothing, measuring your dog is the best way of assuring the best fit. Why do you want it to fit? So that your dog cannot easily pull the piece off, so it doesn’t drag on the ground, and so it doesn’t get caught on anything during normal movement. You want the piece to be snug without being tight.

The most important areas to measure are around the neck, around the largest part of the chest, and the distance from the neck to the waist. The sweater’s length should end around the waist, leaving the lower bellow free. Knowing your dog’s actual weight will also help you to determine the correct size. If possible, take your dog along to the store with you try the clothes before buying them, as returns are very difficult when it comes to clothing for animals.

It almost goes without saying, but we will mention it anyway, dogs cannot, or should not, wear pants — only sweaters and jackets.

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