Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips
The cold weather can be hard for many people. But it can be especially difficult for animal companions that depend on their pet parents to guarantee their well-being. To help ensure that your entire family stays safe and warm when the temperature drops, consider these cold weather pet safety tips:
Find Ways to Make Your Cat Comfortable Indoors. If you keep your cat inside your home, she won’t be significantly affected by the cold spell or the hazards commonly associated with winter. Nevertheless, there are still a few things you can do to make sure that your feline friend is warm and cozy. A cat bed with a warm pillow and blanket would be nice. If your pet usually sleeps on the floor, move her bed somewhere higher to avoid drafts. If your cat is older or has arthritis, the cold will likely make her joints stiff and uncomfortable. Watch your pet’s weight as extra pounds can put additional strain on their already-sore joints. Also, since jumping will be difficult, help your cat get to her favorite sleeping spots by moving a chair or providing a ladder to make it accessible.
Limit Your Pet’s Exposure to Toxic Substances. During frigid winter, de-icing products like rock salts commonly cover sidewalks and roadways. These deicers melt snow and ice, improving outdoor safety for drivers and pedestrians. But it’s toxic to pets. Rock salts can irritate your cat’s paws. Eating small amounts can trigger gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea. If your pet ingests copious amounts of rock salt, it can result in insatiable thirst, weakness, disorientation, kidney damage, seizures, and even death. As much as possible, keep your cat indoors during winter to limit their potential exposure to rock salts. If your furball does go outside, see to it that you always wipe down their belly, feet, legs, and paws when they come back inside. Another toxic substance that you want to keep away from your pet is antifreeze. Ingesting this mixture is extremely hazardous. In fact, a single teaspoon can kill your pet. Antifreeze consists of an odorless and colorless chemical known as ethylene glycol, which your cat may easily mistake for water. Its sweet smell and taste make it even more enticing. Protect your cat from this lethal substance by storing unused antifreeze where it won’t be knocked over and licked by your pet. Always clean up any spills right away and thoroughly. Don’t let your cat roam around the neighborhood by themselves.
Check the Hood Before Starting the Car. Cats are known to be heat-seekers. They will climb onto your car engine for warmth. The warm hood of your vehicle will be an excellent spot for them to sleep. So, don’t forget to knock on the hood of your car before starting it in the morning. Just like when it’s scorching hot outside, you should also never leave your pet alone in the vehicle during cold weather. Your car can act like a refrigerator that holds in the cold. When in doubt, it’s best to keep your pet at home when you know you’ll have to leave them unattended inside your vehicle. You don’t want to put your animal companion at risk of frostbite and hypothermia.
Many seemingly harmless items that you may have been taking for granted can put your pet in danger. Do you want to learn more about how you can better protect your cat this time of year? Visit The Little Cat Clinic in La Mesa, California. Call us at (619) 547-0900 for more information