Winter has yet to hit us hard here in the triangle, but when it does, you can bet that Raleigh animal hospitals will be worrying about their patients! Why? Because our pets don’t necessarily understand winter weather concepts like “slippery ice” until they experience that slippery ice for themselves. This means that it’s up to us as pet parents to be extra cautious in wintery weather and do the thinking for our pets even when it comes to something as simple as going out in the backyard to potty! Unfortunately, we’re humans, and sometimes we forget that our pets aren’t winter weatherproofed or we just don’t know that certain winter weather precautions need to be taken. Fortunately, we’ve got some great winter weather safety tips for you and your pets so that you can start thinking about that inclement weather before it really sets in!
Raleigh Animal Hospitals Share Some Top Winter Safety Tips!
Winter can be a fun season for the whole family – pets included – if the right winter weather precautions are taken. As parents, friends, siblings, spouses, etc. we understand the importance of safety in winter weather when it comes to our human companions. Unfortunately, because we don’t have experience as dogs or cats in the winter, it can be hard for us to understand or at least to anticipate the challenges that our pets face in the winter weather. This lack of knowledge can quickly lead to a number of unfortunate incidents, so allow us to share some of our top winter weather safety for pets tips.
Don’t Believe It’s in Your Dog’s DNA to Survive Frigid Temperatures
We all know that one “friend”. You know, the one who tells you that you baby your dog too much (which, let’s face it, you probably do, but who’s complaining?). The “friend” who insists that you should let your dog sleep outside in the winter because it will satisfy some primal instinct. Well, the next time that this “friend” gives you this piece of advice, we’d ask you to share this tidbit of information with them…
According to the Smithsonian, it was at LEAST 15,000 but perhaps as late as 40,000 years ago that dogs diverged from the wolves family tree. So while your dog is descended from a (now extinct) species of the gray wolf, they also have THOUSANDS of years of domestication in their blood. This domestication involved humans tweaking and molding dog breeds to create dogs that had specific jobs and even dogs that were bred for looks alone. And as we humans selectively shaped our dogs’ genetics, our dogs began to lose many of the physical and psychological traits that resulted from natural selection.
Of course, this is not the only reason (nor the most important reason) why you should never leave your dog to fend for themselves in winter weather, but it may just be the answer that stops your “friend” from suggesting it again.
Ice is Slippery No Matter What Species You Are
We know, the title of this section is stating the obvious, but it’s something that pet parents often forget. You see, we take for granted that we know how slippery ice is, so it’s easy to take your eye off the ball when your pet is going out in the icy weather to go potty. Even as a veteran pet parent it’s easy to forget how slippery ice can be for your pets as you transition from being a senior pet parent to being a younger dog parent again. This absentmindedness can happen to any pet parent which is one reason why you see us sharing this type of advice each winter because we could ALL use the reminder once in a while!
It’s Not Just Snow and Ice Either…
When we do think of snow and ice and our pets, we think about slippery surfaces and sliding injuries, but an injury can happen from the chemicals and salts that get put on ice and snow too. These chemicals can burn and injure paw pads, and they can also cause sickness if your pet licks their paws after walking on these chemicals.
We recommend investing in a pair of doggy boots to keep your dog’s paws clean while walking outside. If your dog won’t walk in snow boots, confine them to space where you know the snow is clean, for example in your backyard. If you have a cat, keep them indoors to prevent paw injury due to chemicals on the ice or snow and to keep them safe from other weather-related injuries as well.
Do You Have Questions About Winter Weather Safety?
If you have questions about winter weather safety and your pets or if you have questions about your pets in general, our vets would be happy to help! Just give us a call to set up a time when you can talk with one of our vets and they’ll give you all of the information you need to keep your pet safer during the holidays and the chilly weather!
Looking For Experienced and Reputable Raleigh Animal Hospitals Near You?
If you are searching for experienced and reputable Raleigh animal hospitals to help you to manage your pet’s overall wellbeing as well as any wintery weather mishaps, we’d love for you to join our family here at Leesville Animal Hospital! Why not give us a call today at (919)870-7000 and make an appointment to take a look around and to meets our vets?