Snow joy on four paws
How do cold, snow and winter “joys” affect your pet’s health? Do you dare to breastfeed with your dog? What if he sprays antifreeze?
While one does not … one does not care. It started, again. Short days, long nights, deep snow. You are cold and asleep and your dog has to walk in the morning like every day before. And in the afternoon. And in the evening. Wondering why you didn’t get a cat or parrot. But to make it easier for you, the dog doesn’t care. A few minutes after he jumped on your bed, just waiting for you to take him out, you both feel like you are being punished. You had to pack a bunch of goods and get out, and it’s cold and you’re sleeping while your pet, just realizing he didn’t see so much snow attacking overnight, sees that he would rather return to a warm apartment. But here you go. It even gets nice to you. And then you see a neighbor with his pet howling because this one eats snow and jumps and runs … and goes crazy and then whines …
Winter pet problems happen that all owners want to avoid at all costs. In this post, we will explain what you need to look out for and how to behave when a snow accident occurs, not joy. Let’s start in a row.
Dogs and cats respond differently to cold and tolerate it differently from humans. Cats kept in the house have no problems, which is not the case for dogs that come out in cold weather. In dogs, the difference in hair length, amount of subcutaneous fat, level of activity and health is important. Long-haired and sharp-haired dogs, with undercoat and thicker layers of adipose tissue, are better able to withstand cold, and short-haired dogs with thin layers of fat, which are exposed to cold by the musculature, and which tend to cool faster, are heavier. It is advisable for such dogs to dress their clothes and even shorten their walks. Short-legged dogs, unlike long-legged, taller dogs, touch the belly with cold snow and ice, which also affects health.
You know your pet best. If he is older, be careful. Cold weather may favor the development of new ones or exacerbate chronic diseases. If your pet has not been to a veterinarian for an examination for a long time, it is advisable to have him or her complete systematic examination to identify possible changes (such as joint inflammation) and to keep him or her healthy for the coming cold days.
If your dog has some diagnosed chronic illnesses, talk to your vet. Older dogs with arthritis tend to slip and fall on the ice, so you have to be extra careful when walking with them. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or hormonal imbalances (such as hyperadrenocorticism) find it difficult to regulate body heat in severe and cold conditions, and you should definitely take this into consideration. Heavier body temperature control applies to very young and very old dogs.
Skin problems and dryness of the air
Also, the constant exhalation and return to the warmth of the apartment in most dogs cause drying and dandruff of the skin, most commonly accompanied by itching. Use a humidifier or simply place water containers or a wet towel on the radiator in the room where the dog resides. Be sure to wipe it dry with a towel before it enters the home. Avoid bathing the dog too often during cold weather, as even though you will dry it and it will not catch a cold, you will also wash off the grease that protects it! It’s like someone taking your hand cream.
Before going out, massage them with paw protection products to protect them from the salts and chemicals that pave the roadway and sidewalks. Be sure to rinse them when you get home so they don’t lick, especially to avoid irritation of the skin and molluscs. Boots help too – the choice is great and gives yourself a break.
Grunting as a hazard
Don’t walk near park benches or shrubs because there is broken glass that you and your dog can’t see under the snow and horror movie scenes in the form of a big red spot on semi-submerged white snow you certainly don’t want to see near you and your pet. Also, pay attention if your dog eats snow. If it eats too much, it will most likely catch a cold, and it can “pick up” various parasites that are highly resistant to cold with some bacteria and viruses. Also, if you push your head into the snow, be careful not to swallow any foreign body that can get stuck in your throat and cause severe problems. In any case, do not despair before going to the vet for an examination.
Do not grind with him or throw a pile of snow at him to run after them, but take his favorite brightly colored toy, paying particular attention to the holes under the snow so that he does not fall into it with the whole or with one foot. Severe joint and bone fractures are possible.
Careful with antifreeze
At this point, it is extremely important to note that you must carefully dispose of empty and full antifreeze bottles that you use for your vehicle. Namely, antifreeze contains heavy poison and although many manufacturers have changed the formula, many products have a fantastic sweet taste and aroma that suits pets. Dogs and cats will be happy to lick the spilled antifreeze in the driveway, car or garage floor, so take extra care. The main ingredient is ethylene glycol. Depending on the size of the dog or cat, it is enough from a few drops to a teaspoon to produce a series of cascading changes that in a few days lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, to death of the animal.
The first symptoms are noticed after one hour (vomiting, dizziness, depression, disorientation) and then immediately take the dog to the vet. After 12 hours of ingestion, the slack phase follows and owners often make a big mistake because they think that everything is OK with the dog and do not go to the vet. Further metabolism of ethylene glycol in the body produces oxalates and they are deposited in the kidneys, blood vessels of the central nervous system and other tissues. Due to the heavy liver load, because ethylene glycol metabolism is carried out there, its failure is possible, and also at this stage of the disease, symptoms of cardiovascular and respiratory systems may occur. If after two to three days you realize that it is possible that the dog has licked the antifreeze and you notice any symptom that is atypical for your dog, take the pet to the vet as soon as possible. Therefore, if you are using antifreeze, you should choose products that contain propylene glycol, and especially watch how you dispose of unused bottles and how you put them in the vehicle.
And yes … just as you like a little “stronger food” in the winter, treat your pet too. Increase the food dose to the upper limit specified by the manufacturer in the table at the back of the pack. Doing so will provide him with an extra amount of calories, but he will not be overweight. Of course, “ski sarma with bacon”, “hunting stew with earth dumplings” and other creations from your fridge, oven, and pot are out of the question. Also, keep the sweet stuff for yourself and the people in the household. Fresh, not too cold, water must always be available to your pet. Yes, it’s winter and they are very thirsty. It doesn’t matter that they ate snow outside – that’s not enough for them!
With a little effort and a lot of attention, the winter is beautiful. And make it easy for yourself and your pet. Walking can be very enjoyable in cold and snowy weather. So enjoy the beautiful moments with your most trusted and beautiful pet.