With temperatures in the teens and wind chills dipping below zero, most of the US is experiencing another bone-chilling winter! As the season continues to dump more snow and ice in the weeks ahead, it is imperative that one not only takes the necessary precautions for themselves, but also their pets. Shockingly, the winter months are among the most difficult for pets to get through.
Heidi Ganahl CEO of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and INC 5000 company offers some lifesaving tips for taking care of pets in the cold:
1) Never let your dog off the leash in snow or ice. Although it may seem like a fun option to let your pup frolic in the snow, it can prove to be extremely dangerous. Dogs tend to lose their sense of smell in extremely cold weather and become lost. Believe it or not, winter has the highest rates for lost dogs!
2) Thoroughly wipe down your dog when he comes back into the house after being in the snow or taking walks. It is common for dogs to ingest ice melt salts from the ground by licking their paws when they are back in the house. If the ice melt is not pet safe, it can prove to be very toxic.
3) Never leave your dog in the car; your vehicle can act like a freezer in the winter, trapping heat outside and causing your pet to freeze to death.
4) Fresh water is a must at all times, as your dog may be more likely to lick ice and eat snow if he/she is thirsty from lack of water. While hydrating this way, your pet may ingest poisonous snow-melting-salts and antifreeze.
5) Keep your pet’s fur full length. Your pet’s fur keeps them warm in the winter, so never shave their fur off. If you have a dog that has short hair, you might want to purchase a jacket or sweater for them to wear if they have to be out in the cold for any bit of time.