Cold Weather Tips

  1. Keep your cat inside, especially during the dead of winter. Cats can easily freeze, become lost, get hurt, or even get killed outside.
  2. Take your dog outside only for as long as it takes him to relieve himself. Dogs, particularly small, shorthaired breeds like Chihuahuas and terriers, suffer from the cold despite their seemingly warm fur coats.
  3. Strongly consider getting your dog a warm sweater for those cold winter months, particularly if your own a small, shorthaired breed. Look for a sweater that fits snugly on your dog's body, especially his vulnerable belly. While it may seem a luxurious frill, a sweater makes real sense if your dog shivers in the cold.
  4. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and easily become lost. They may also panic during a snowstorm and run away. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.
  5. Never leave your dog alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter. Your dog could literally freeze to death.
  6. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the rain, snow, or ice. Check his sensitive footpads, which may be bleeding from snow or ice encrusted in them. Your dog may also pick up salt and other chemicals on his feet accidentally. These chemicals could hurt him if he swallows them while licking his feet.
  7. Increase your pets supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy through the winter months. Talk to your veterinarian about vitamin and oil supplements.
  8. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, far away from all outside drafts and preferably off the floor-such as a basket or a cardboard box with a warm blanket in it.
  9. Bathe your dog only when necessary. Your dog runs a good chance of catching a cold anytime he gets wet. If you absolutely must bathe your dog, have a professional dog bather do it. Cats do not need to be bathed, but can be if absolutely necessary.
  10. Never clip your dog's hair in the winter. That way, your dog will stay as warm as possible, even if he looks funny.
  11. Brush your dog daily instead of clipping him. Daily brushing keeps your pet's coat healthy, shiny, clean, and mat-free.
  12. Wait until spring to train a young puppy to relieve himself outside. Puppies cannot take the cold well and are difficult to train outside in the winter. Paper-train him inside your home in the meantime.
  13. During the winter, cats sometimes sleep under the hood of a car where it is warm and comfortable. Then, if you start the motor, the cat could get caught in or flung about by the fan belt, causing serious injury or even death. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood and sides of your car before turning on the ignition to give the cat a chance to escape.
  14. Antifreeze, even in very tiny doses, is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. But because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it. Be sure to clean up spills thoroughly.

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It is estimated that 90,000 pets and animals die each year due to antifreeze poisoning.

Animals accidentally ingest conventional antifreeze from leaking radiators, boil overs, and improperly stored containers of used antifreeze. Pets are attracted to antifreeze for its sweet smell and taste. So dangerous is EG-based antifreeze, that a mere teaspoon can kill a cat and two ounces can kill a dog.

Antifreeze isn't fatal upon initial ingestion; it is the resulting metabolic acidosis and acute renal failure that causes death. Antifreeze poisoning can be treated if you know what signs to look for. If you suspect an animal has accidentally ingested antifreeze, treatment must be started within the first few hours to increase the survival rate.

Signs of antifreeze poisoning include vomiting, unsteady motion, listlessness, thirst, and frequent urination. As the ethylene glycol is metabolized, the animal's kidneys are being irreversibly damaged, followed by seizures, coma, and death.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Therefore, vehicles should be regularly checked to ensure they are free of antifreeze leaks. People should look for the telltale puddles in the driveway and promptly clean up any suspect fluids.