Oh, the weather outside is frightful! People who have one or more pets that primarily live outdoors need to take extra precautions to keep them safe as the weather gets cold and miserable. VPI has created a helpful list of 10 seasonal dangers to outdoor pets.
When you go out into the snowy, Winter, weather, you probably bundle up. Most of us wear warm coats, gloves, hats, and scarves if we are expecting to be outside for more than a minute or two. Your pets can’t do that. This could lead to a very serious, and tragic, situation.
You might realize that some of the holiday decorations inside your home can be dangerous for your pets. What about the pets that live outdoors (or that spend large portions of their days outdoors)? VPI wants pet owners to consider their safety as well.
VPI sells pet insurance policies. They care about pets, and want to help pet owners to protect their dogs and cats from Winter weather. VPI has put together a list of 10 Seasonal Dangers to Outdoor Pets. Check out their blog for the full list. I’m only going to point out a couple of the big ones in this blog.
VPI points out that if the temperature outside is below freezing it means that your outdoor pets need come inside. Be prepared to bring your outdoor dog into your home for long periods of time this winter. Before the weather gets below zero, make sure your dog has adequate shelter. This means that he or she has a draft-free, weatherproof, shelter that will be small enough to keep him or her warm. VPI suggests turning the door of your dog’s house away from the wind.
We’ve all heard sad stories about a beloved dog or cat that was outside in the Winter time, and that died after drinking antifreeze. This poison appeals to animals because it has a sweet taste. It is a poison. Just a small amount can quickly lead to kidney failure and death. To avoid this problem, you need to monitor your pet when he or she goes outside. Or, you need to make sure your outdoor pet cannot access areas where vehicles are parked.
We all know water freezes when the weather gets cold enough. Your outdoor pet cannot drink the ice cube that has formed in his or her water dish. Lack of water can lead to dehydration very quickly (even on cold days). Thirsty pets may try to drink from puddles that could have any number of toxic substances in them.
Image by Yuichiro Haga on Flickr