Most humans look forward to the coming of winter. After all, there is nothing more magical than seeing your neighborhood slowly turn into a white city of snow and blizzard. It’s like you have been transported to the north pole.
Even dogs are quite fond of the winter too. In fact, if you take your dog outdoors after a heavy snowfall, you will notice them running around in pure glee, immensely appreciative of the cottony goodness of snow beneath their paws.
But the winter season is not all fun and games and merrymaking. If you have a dog for a pet, you must know of the risks that this season brings. The goal is to not be anxious about the whole thing, but to be proactive.
Here are three of these risks:
1. Rock salt poisoning
Roads and walkways turn froze and slippery come wintertime. This situation poses a lot of risks to commuters. This is why government officials go out of their way to keep these roads and walkways pedestrian and driver-friendly. The means they employ for this goal is rock salt.
Rock salt is poured onto road and walkway surfaces. This improves traction, and, consequently, hinders accidents. Unfortunately, for dogs, rock salt might be harmful.
Rock salt is not as safe as your run of the mill table salt, despite what some people would have you believe. It contains magnesium, which is toxic to your canine companion. If the inadvertently eaten rock salt, your doggo might suffer an array of physical discomforts such as their paws turning raw and tender, kidney and liver failure, and if worse comes to worse, coma or death.
To make sure these dreadful things do not happen, give your pup a good wash after your outdoor escapades.
2. Antifreeze poisoning
If there’s anything worse than rock salt poisoning, it’s antifreeze poisoning. The reason for this is because its symptoms can be quite deceptive. These symptoms appear in three different stages, and, at some point, they tend to disappear only to reappear with a vengeance.
If your canine friend has ingested antifreeze, they might suffer from mouth ulcers, kidney failure, and anorexia, among others. If not treated immediately, these symptoms can progress to death after the 72nd hour of exposure.
To reduce the risk of antifreeze poisoning, you must be a responsible car owner. You can do this by learning the ways of proper antifreeze disposal, and by religiously following them.
This is perhaps the most obvious winter risks for dogs. If your pup is equipped with a thick coat, they are less susceptible to this danger. Short-haired breeds, however, might need winter dog vests or blankets for when the thermometer dips.
As for dog owners who still believe there’s nothing wrong with keeping dogs in outdoor shelters, winter is the right time to be convinced otherwise.
Your pet is your responsibility. The way you take care of them should be adaptable. Change of seasons, for instance, require change of safety measures. This winter season, make sure your pup is safe from the aforementioned dangers.