Friday, January 18, 2019

Healthy Paws Blog


Here you will find informational articles on how to keep your pet happy and healthy! You will also find the latest news about our practice.

Pet Safety in the Winter Months

Living in New England, we tend to get the worst of the winter weather. Thankfully, as humans, we can throw on a couple of extra layers in the morning for warmth and can (mostly) avoid getting ourselves into potentially dangerous situations. But our pets rely on us for their safety. We have a few tips for keeping our four legged family members safe during these colder months that we would like to share with you:

1. Use pet friendly ice melts on your walkways and driveways. Try to keep dogs off of the regular salt that is put down as it can get stuck in their paw pads and can seriously damage their feet. Try products such a Safe Paws, Ice Melt or Safe Melt which are available at stores like Home Depot, Walmart, and most pet stores. They generally are labeled as “safe for pet use”.

2.  Check under your car before pulling out of the driveway! Outdoor cats tend to hide under cars for warmth and shelter. Honk the horn, bang on the hood or make other general loud noises to help alert them that they need to move!

3. Keep pets away from Antifreeze or other leaking containers that may be in the garage.  Antifreeze has a sweet flavor that dogs and cats just love! Give bottles a good look over and watch for leaking or loose lids. Have your pet seen immediately is you suspect that they might have ingested a garage toxin.  Signs to watch for include: incoordination, excessive thirst or urination, vomiting, panting, sedation, halitosis (bad breath), and lethargy.

4. Pay attention to the paws! We touched on salt already, but ice and snow can be hard on those feet! Snow clumping between toes can hurt and pull on their fur. They can also get frostbite on their paws and ears. Rinse their paws off with warm water after walks to help remove salt and check for wounds. Keep a look-out for color change, tenderness, or limping.

5. Cats love nothing more than a nice warm space heater. Keep indoor cats at a safe distance from radiators and electric heaters! Preventing burns before they happen is much easier than treating them once they do!

6. Keep pets off frozen ponds/lakes etc. Just because they might look frozen over, doesn’t mean that they are! Rather than risking something going wrong, keep pets on a leash and keep them from trying to run out onto the ice.

7. Deep snow reeks havoc on knee ligaments and joints. Although it is tempting to encourage your dog to leap through deep snow, you are risking having a very sore dog, torn ligaments, or other serious orthopedic injury. More than 5 dogs tore their ACL ligaments in the 2013 blizzard and had to have surgery with Dr. McCarthy. 

8. General safety: If you’re cold your pet is probably cold too! If you lose power and need to go to a hotel, make sure they will let you bring your pets with you! Just because they have fur doesn’t mean that they can be outside in freezing temperatures for extended amounts of time.

    Stay warm and safe this winter and enjoy all the fun that New England has to offer!


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