Every year, thousands of pets have been left out in the cold that would suffer painful effects of hypothermia or frostbite or get frozen to death in freezing and subfreezing conditions, mostly exacerbated by snow or rain. Experts also say it is a myth that dogs and cats may fend for themselves any more than human beings can.
In winter, a bit of common sense and compassion on pet owners also goes a long way.
A few breeds can handle cold better than the rest:
While many hardy breeds with long and thick coats, such as German Shepherds and Malamutes, might stay better in the cold, many breeds can’t adapt to elements and need sweaters for insulation and a limited exposure time. The skin on these pets, mainly his ears, footpads, nose, tail, and the exposed areas such as belly, may freeze in as low as 20 minutes in the sub-zero temperatures.
If it is just too cold for you to stay outside, it is too cold for your pets as well. No matter which breed, puppies, or senior animals, those with arthritis or the other frailties must never be out more than needed in winter. According to SPCA, in cold weather than car’s interior acts such as freezer or refrigerator, hence leaving an animal in your vehicle is not suggested:
What is the sign of exposure in animals?
- Fur is standing erect, signing decreased body temperature
- Shivering is triggered by a generation of heat
- Shivering becomes violent, and the animal becomes uncoordinated and listless, having hypothermia probable at this point
- Collapse and coma ensure having major organs shutting down
- If frostbite is present, tissues will be bright red followed by being pale color and then black
What are some of the winter pet safety ways that I can try?
- Keep your pet leashed when on walks:
Many pets become lost when they are on walks in the winter season due to snowfall that can disguise the scents they were known to. Make sure his collar has up-to-date contact details or get him microchipped.
- Grab a coat:
Not all dogs have to have a coat in winter, but the breeds with smaller hair may benefit from having an extra layer of warmth.
- Clear the snow and ice:
After a walk or exposure to ice and snow, you must clear away the ice balls that might collect in your pet’s toes and cause painful frostbite and freezing. Toxic ice melting products such as rock salt might collect in paws and rinsing and wiping well will keep ingesting of chemicals away, which cause irritation, diarrhea, and vomiting when licked. Use pet-friendly ice melts when possible.
- Be sure your emergency kits include pet items:
Winter power outages are a common occurrence. Ensure your pet emergency kit has food, water, and medication that last your pets for around five days.
- Check the hood:
In winter, cats mostly sleep under hoods and wheels of cars to stay warm. To prevent injuries by banging loudly over cars or honking the horn, you will save many lives.