Tips to Keep Pets Safe in Winter
O'Fallon volunteers and experts offer advice for keeping animals healthy, safe during the cold months.
Snow, sleet, freezing rain- now only do the cold winter months prove taxing on your health, it can also affect the wellbeing of your pets.
Not to fear. Pet owners can follow a number of tips to keep their furry companions safe.
Patch talked to a few O'Fallon volunteers and experts who work with pets everyday and asked them for some tips for keeping animals safe in the winter.
- “Be careful as to the type of salt you use on your driveway, pathways, patio for ice,” Shuma Chaudhuri, a volunteer at All Paws Animal Rescue in O'Fallon said. “Traditional ice is harmful to pets. You can buy specially formulated pet-safe de-icers. While they seem more expensive, it will save you in the long run in avoiding expensive veterinary bills for the damage to their paws.” Additionally, she stresses the importance of cleaning up spills on the garage floor, such as anti-freeze., as anti-freeze is poisonous for pets.
- Remember, harsh winter weather can be dangerous to you pets. “When the temperatures drop low, bring your pets indoors,” Chaudhri said. “If you absolutely must keep your pets outdoors, make sure they have the appropriate shelter (enclosed), hay or straw to keep warm, available water that is not frozen, higher protein kibble.”
- She also states that if you walk your pet at a local park that has a pond or lake, keep your pet on the leash. Even if the water looks frozen, it may not be. “A pet running loose may run onto the ice, and the ice will break, and boom....there goes your pet into the frozen icy water, leading to hypothermia and other injuries.”
- A pet’s coat is its best defense against the brutal Missouri winter temperatures. “Make sure to brush your pets daily,” said Hillary Myers, pet stylist from the O’Fallon PetSmart. “If they are not properly groomed, the hair could become matted and will have to be shaved at sixteenth of an inch.” Without the insulation of their winter coats, pets will be more susceptible to illness and the harsh winter temperatures. Chaudhuri also suggests refraining from grooming dogs to short hair.
Taking these seasonal precautions can increase your pets’ safety and wellness, and decrease chances of unnecessary trips to the veterinarian’s office.