Keeping Pets Safe In Sub-Zero Temps

By: AP
By: AP

Our pets need a warm, safe place to stay when the thermometer dips way down – but did you know the cold weather also brings other dangers?

Some deicers, for example, can make pets sick. The most dangerous varieties are petroleum-based or contain other toxic chemicals. Even plain rock salt, however, can make a pet sick if they eat too much of it.

Rock salt can also irritate your pet’s paws, causing them to become dry and chapped. To prevent that, veterinarians recommend washing their feed with a warm, wet cloth when they come back inside.

Balls of ice can also collect between the pads of your dog’s paws. Those can be painful and cause them to limp, but is especially problematic for dogs with longer hair.

Keeping the hairs between their pads trimmed can help reduce that problem.

Dogs, like humans, can also develop frostbite and hypothermia. The oldest, youngest and smallest are most at risk.

Even indoors, pets can find themselves in danger – especially if they’re in the garage.

Cats, for example, may climb onto an engine because of the heat it radiates. Knocking on the hood of your car before starting it can help avoid tragedy.

Another garage danger is anti-freeze. It can be very enticing to pets, but just a few licks can be deadly.

Heaters or heat lamps can also pose a danger to pets indoors, because pets can get too close and be burned by those heat sources.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mark on Feb 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM
    cnn had this story slightly differently.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 6, 2011 at 03:52 PM
    Is it really that hard (or asking too much) to provide shelter for your pet when it's freezing outside? If so, maybe you should find it a new home.
  • by Amused Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 6, 2011 at 07:38 AM
    I have a fairly intelligent cat. He refuses to go outside when its cold, and my shar pei dog hates going outside in the cold. Had a husky when I was a kid that loved nothing better than building snow tunnels.. we'd lose him for days in our yard in Woodland Park when there was a couple feet of snow :) The salt/pet feet thing is definitely true. We don't use any where our dog hangs out, and use minimal amounts on the porch/driveway to keep risk to the cat low.. when he decides to venture forth. Best idea.. is to keep the animals inside or give them a warm animal shelter outside.. our husky had one of those doggloo things that was made for sub zero temps and he loved it.. kept him warm and try.
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