Fall And Winter Hints For Your Pets

posted: by: KVH Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Every season brings with it potential dangers to your pets, and fall is no exception.  Please utilize the tips below to ensure a safe and happy Fall and Winter for your pets!

*Always provide fresh, clean water.  If the weather is cold, please make sure the water has not frozen or warm it if necessary.

*Indoor pets should be provided with a warm, dry area free from drafts.  Provide bedding if your animal sleeps on the floor; this will definitely help arthritic pets!  Wash bedding at least every other week to keep fleas away.

*Outdoor pets need to have dry shelter out of the wind.  Brings cats and dogs into the house if weather conditions are rainy, snowy, or extremely cold.

*Staying warm requires extra calories so you pet may need more food or a change in diet.  Talk to your veterinarian for more information.

*Remove ice, salt, mud or snow from your pets' coats as soon as possible.  If the skin looks red, white, or grey in cold weather, scaly, or peely, please talk to a veterinarian immediately about the possibility of frostbite.

*Most dogs and cats shed their summer coats during the fall before putting on their heavier winter coats. Special attention should be paid to hair coats and daily or weekly brushing should help you pet avoid matting.

*Outdoor cats and kittens like to nap in warm places, including car engines.  Please knock on the hood of your vehicle or honk the horn, then wait a few minutes before starting the engine.  If in doubt, open the hood and look.

*Antifreeze smells good and tastes very sweet; however, very small amounts can kill your pet.  If a cat walks through it and then licks its paws, it will get enough antifreeze in its system to cause serious health problems.  The damage is done but these chemicals crystallize in the kidney so symptoms most likely will not show up for a few days.  By this time, the damage may be severe and irreversible in nature.  Throughly clean up any spills, store antifreeze in tightly closed containers, and store where pets can't get to them.  If you suspect an antifreeze poisoning, please contact your veterinarian or poison center immediately.  The Poison Control Hotline is 1-888-426-4435.

*Fall is the most common time of year for male cats to "block," or form small stones that block the flow of urine from the bladder to the urethra.  Any cat that seems to be straining to urinate should be checked by a veterinarian at once.

*Halloween candy is not good for you pet, especially chocolate.  Keep cats inside to avoid tricksters and possible encounters with cars.  Make sure that dogs are kept safe with all the visitors coming and going.  Remember you pet may also get confused or frightened by the costumes.

*Alcoholic beverages, candy, chocolate, turkey, pork, fish, and bones are just a few of the potentially hazardous holiday foods your pet may be exposed to.  Please keep your pet on his or her regular diet!  Vomiting and diarrhea are common complaints around the holiday season, almost all are caused by consumption of unhealthy food!

*Many plants, including Christmas Rose, Holly, Mistletoe, Philodendron, Dieffenbachia, and Poinsettias are toxic to your pet.  Please see our poisonous plant list and keep them out of your pet's reach.  If you suspect your pet may have ingested one of them, please contact your veterinarian or call the Poison Control Hotline immediately.

*Electric cords, tinsel, glass ornaments, candles, spray-on snow, ribbons, plastic or foil wrappings, and many other seasonal items can be dangerous to your pet.  Cover-up or hide electrical cords from your pet and NEVER let your pet chew on these wires.  Do not tie ribbons around your pet's neck or limbs.  Watch out for rubber bands too.