The winter season can be a tricky time for new dog owners. Freezing cold temperatures, icy pavement, and other unexpected obstacles seem to pop up out of nowhere. It takes proper planning and constant vigilance to ensure that your dog remains safe. Here are some common winter pet hazards to keep an eye out for.
1. Unsafe Temperatures
The first and most obvious danger to look out for is the temperature outside. Determining what temperature is safe varies on a dog-to-dog basis. The ability to resist the cold depends a lot on the size, breed, and even color of your dog. Some dogs are more naturally prepared for colder temperatures. Large, thick-furred breeds can better withstand temperatures that dip below freezing. Smaller, light-furred breeds might begin to feel discomfort at a balmy 45°F.
However, the lower the temperature drops, the less safe it is for your dog to be outdoors. Anything below 20°F can be extremely dangerous for any breed to be outdoors for long. The general rule is that anything that feels uncomfortable for you also feels uncomfortable for your dog. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you should without a doubt bring him inside when temperatures drop well below freezing.
2. Icy Pavement
Slippery pavement caused by ice is another danger to look out for when taking your dog out for a walk or even to just relieve himself. Some dogs aren’t naturally built to handle slippery conditions, and they could end up injuring themselves if moving too fast or changing directions suddenly. When it comes to icy sidewalks, it’s best that your pet be as cautious on the slippery surface as you would yourself.
3. Salt-Treated Pavement
Let’s say that you take your dog out after icy weather has blown through, and you notice that the streets and sidewalks have been treated with salt. You might see this as a good opportunity to go out for a longer walk since the salt is melting the ice and giving you some extra traction. However, treated pavement can actually be even more harmful to your dog’s paws and digestion tract if the salt is consumed in large quantities.
Therefore, it is very important that any time you take your dog out onto treated streets and sidewalks that you make sure he is not eating the salt or any deicing solution. In most cases, you should keep these walks down to a minimum so that his paws are less irritated. If you come home and find that your dog is still walking funny, you might want to check in between the padding on his feet to make sure no salt or grime has settled in.
4. Antifreeze Poisoning
What many pet owners do not expect is their dog to be poisoned by antifreeze. What typically happens is that during extremely cold temperatures, automobiles can actually leak antifreeze out onto the pavement. This strange substance could very easily entice the curiosity of your dog and have serious consequences if ingested. Antifreeze poisoning will make your dog act strangely, almost like he drank alcohol. If you notice strange behavior such as this and believe your dog might have consumed antifreeze, you should seek the help of a vet immediately.
5. Indoor Hazards
For dog owners who typically keep their pooch outdoors, the cold weather may force them to bring him inside for a change. Anytime you bring a pet indoors, you should take the time to pet-proof your home. When doing so, it is always important to look out for any potentially poisonous household items you have lying around. Items such as chocolate, cleaners, and also certain indoor plants can be harmful when ingested and should be kept well out of reach.
Owning a dog can bring a lot of joy into your life. But being a dog owner also requires a lot of responsibility as well. As the temperatures begin to drop outside, remember to keep a close eye on your pup and to ensure that he has a safe and comfortable winter.
Article Submitted By Aurora James.
Like most dog owners, I enjoy spending as much time with my pup as possible, and sometimes that means bringing him with me to dog-friendly restaurants and shops.
He’s very well-trained so I trust him to behave properly around other dogs and humans. And before bringing him to a business, I always make sure I know their rules regarding dogs.
Unfortunately, not all dog owners keep close tabs on their pup’s behavior when out in public. At DogEtiquette, we thought it might be good to come up with some hard and fast rules for dog owners to follow when bringing their pets to coffee shops, specifically, and we’ve included them in a new infographics. – Aurora Visit her on her website DogEtiquette.info.