Woo hoo! Winter is finally here! Digging holes in the snow, catching snowballs, making snow-doggies, warming up next to the fire…
Sorry, I am so excited about winter that I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Deuce and I am a Malamute mix. You can call me a Malamutt 😉 I have a crazy Great Dane sister named Chowder, and our favorite season is winter. Our favorite part of winter is playing in the snow with our human brother! Even though this is the best time of the year, there are always things that we need to be aware of to keep us safe, so let me share some tips. You might be thinking, who is this Deuce anyway and how does he know what is best? Well, I have been playing in the snow for 13 years now, so I definitely know a thing or two about New England weather! And my Mom, Ashlyn, is the technician supervisor at Crossroads, so I get the inside veterinary scoop.
So I know I said I like winter and snow, but ice, now that is a different story. We have all seen funny videos of people and pets wiping out on the ice, but many of those falls result in injuries. Just about everyone uses salt and/or sand to help melt away ice and give our legs some grip, but these products can potentially be irritating to pet paws. I’ve been asking for a pair of Sorel boots for years now, but something tells me it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe they don’t make them in my size?! Common melts contain chemicals like calcium chloride, potassium chloride and calcium magnesium (oh my!) and if ingested can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Eating large amounts can even be deadly, so be sure to keep them out of reach and in a sealed container. There are pet-friendly ice melts out there, which are safer, but can still cause mild stomach upset if ingested (even licked off of paws). An easy way to avoid problems is wiping off our paws when we come back into the house with a damp wash cloth or looking into dog-boots, if your dog will tolerate wearing them 😛
**WARNING** Antifreeze, used in cars, can be lethal to pets! The ingredient that is to blame is ethylene glycol. So if you keep extra in your garage, try finding the products that use propylene glycol instead. Also be sure to clean up any spills or leaks from your car since you know us pets, we like to eat things off the ground.
- Don’t shave your pet during winter. Our fur coats are built-in jackets and are essential to keeping us warm. Of course you can trim areas that are prone to collecting snow or forming mats, but don’t take off too much. If a haircut is necessary, style us with sweaters or jackets prior to heading out in the cold.
- Don’t leave your dog in the car during winter. Just like in the summer, spending extended amounts of time in the car in extreme temperatures can be dangerous. Just leave us at home, preferably near the pellet stove, with our favorite toy and our favorite show on the TV 🙂
Winter is a fabulous time of year, and a great time to get out and enjoy playing with your pet. Look at a couple of pictures of my sister and I enjoying ourselves. And if winter isn’t your thing, take the next few months to snuggle with your pet, catch up on your DVR, and we will see you in spring.
The fabulous staff at Crossroads is always available if you have any questions or concerns. Should there be inclement weather, check our website, Facebook page or call us directly to see if the hospital is closed or closing early, although we try our best to always be here!
Have a safe, healthy and FUN winter!