Innovet Pet shares the essentials to keeping dogs safe during cold weather

Keep your pets healthy throughout the cold-weather months.Keep your pets healthy throughout the cold-weather months.
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(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Every year we hear tragic incidents involving pets and the cold weather. That’s why this year, Innovet Pet is helping dog owners learn what they can do to keep their little furry ones safe during the winter. In their recent blog, “Taking Care of Your Dogs During The Winter,” Innovet highlights the alarming fact that each year there are a number of reported cases of dogs and cats dying due to cold weather. Even worse, they note that most deaths go unreported with potentially thousands of pets dying a year due to cold temperatures.

Innovet shares 10 essential, easy to implement tips all dog owners should do to ensure their pups stay healthy and safe during the cold months. Speaking on Innovet’s behalf is the brand’s founder, Dave Louvet, who says we often forget that winter brings more dangers than just frigid temperatures.

“Most pet owners are well aware that while dogs can tolerate the cold better than us, for most dogs, it’s not that much more,” says Dave Louvet. “So many of us are already good at making sure our dog has a blanket to sleep with and not leaving them outside for long periods of time. However, there are a few other risks many of us don’t think about. Most dogs are less active during the winter, and when you combine that with all the holiday table scraps, Fido can get tubby before we catch it. There are also toxic chemicals like antifreeze and ice melt that are both commonly used in the winter, and we need to make sure our pups aren’t coming in contact with them.”

Innovet Pet says that all dog owners should pay significant attention to each of the following pieces of advice below if they want to keep their dogs safe during the cold months:

  • Provide warm bedding and make sure your dog has an extra blanket for cold nights. When you set their bed up, make sure it’s in an area free of cold drafts.
  • Watching heat sources. Your dog laying by your furnace vent is OK, but space heaters should be well away from their reach and don’t leave them alone with a burning fireplace.
  • Take extra caution with young and old dogs as both are susceptible to many of winter’s hazards from frigid temperatures to slick ice.
  • Teach your dog to stay away from the ice in general. While it can be fun to watch them slip and slide, one wrong twist can result in an expensive vet bill.
  • Keep antifreeze out of reach. Antifreeze has a sweet taste and is highly toxic — one teaspoon can result in kidney failure.
  • Keep your dog’s paws in tip-top shape with three grooming tips. First, trim away excessively long hair that grows between the paws’ toes and pads. Second, wipe down paws with warm water when they come inside. Lastly, apply a moisturizer if you see their paws are dry or cracking.
  • Limit outside time and go out only when the sun is shining and the wind is low.
  • Bundling your dog up before going outside, especially if they have a short coat, is a great idea.
  • Watch overfeeding. Dogs tend to be less active during the colder months, and with holiday table scrapes going around, they can quickly put on weight.
  • Just like in the summer, don’t leave your dog alone in the car during the winter for extended periods.

For dog owners looking to keep their dogs outside during the winter, Innovet Pet says if their dog house is too cold for you, then it is for your dog. Last, Innovet warns owners to keep a close lookout for signs of frostbite and exposure to poisonous substances. If you see signs of either, immediately contact your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 (available 24/7).

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can keep your dog safe and healthy during all the different seasons and holidays, make sure to check out Innovet Pet.
— PRNewswire

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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