Dog Emergency Prevention

Common Winter Dangers for Doggos

Here on the blog, we aim to help WNYers better understand the world of veterinary emergencies, in order to help prevent emergencies from occurring. Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram for more tips and updates from around our facility! Today on the blog, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about some Winter dangers that could jeopardize your dog’s safety. Some of these may be well known, but some may not be. Ultimately, as responsible pet owners, it is our job to know what could be dangerous so we can help our good boys and girls live a happy and healthy life.

Let’s take a look at what to look out for during WNY Winter!

Freezing Cold Temperatures

Buffalo can get pretty frigid. Many dogs have a nice thick coat that will enable them to feel totally fine in the winter, but slim dogs or dogs with short hair can certainly feel the cold. Dogs are just as sensitive to cold weather as humans are, and hypothermia is a risk if your dog is exposed to prolonged extreme temperatures. As long as they’re exercising and healthy, most dogs should be fine without a coat, but if you plan to spend long periods of time outdoors you may want to consider a nice doggy coat. 

Beware of your dog’s feet becoming frostbitten when coming in and out for bathroom breaks or walks.

Check Doggos Paws

Beyond avoiding any signs of frostbite, you should always inspect your dog’s paws when coming in from the cold. Ice and snow can ball up in the space between their toes, as well as grit and/or salt and other chemicals from ice melt. You’re going to want to avoid letting your dog lick or clean this salt off themselves because you should always assume that ice melt (salt) is toxic for your dog!

“Pet Safe” Ice Melt

No Ice melt is pet safe, but there are at least products out there that are safe-ER. Pet-Safe Ice melts typically use safer chemicals than the standard alternatives, but few of them are completely harmless. Any salty ice melts can cause irritation, and anything with salt in it could be toxic. Never let your dog lick its paws or lick any ice that could contain ice melt as it could be very toxic.

Antifreeze Poisoning

We have mentioned this in the past, but will always mention Antifreeze with regard to dog dangers. Any pet will be attracted to antifreeze, because of the sweet scent, and taste, of Ethylene glycol, which is extremely dangerous. It’s vital to always monitor your vehicles for any leaking fluids throughout the year, but antifreeze should always be avoided. Even a small amount could cause potentially fatal kidney damage, so if you ever have any run-ins with antifreeze it’s important you call an emergency vet immediately as time is of the essence. The longer the delay between ingestion and treatment, the less fortunate the outcome will be.

We hope that today’s blog helped pet owners learn something new to help keep their dog safe this winter! Be sure to follow us on social media to learn more, and remember that if you are ever in need of emergency care, we will be here for you. If your regular vet isn’t available, you can contact us to speak with someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 




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