Winter Care

Cold Weather Calamities

Cold weather will come! When we're bundling up and preparing for the first snowfall, take some time to remember the family pet. They feel the cold, too.

Frostbite is a serious problem for animals left outside with no access to shelter. Don't forget that they need warmth just like we do. Older pets, especially pets with arthritis, may be more affected. 

We all know what rock salt does to our boots - imagine what it can do to your pet's unprotected paws! Unsuspecting pets may also be tempted to lap up that snowy slush that's melting at the side of the road. They can ingest large amounts of salt and other chemicals. Vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration can result. 

And remember we're not the only ones who can be fooled into thinking that ice is thicker than it really is. If your pet should actually fall through the ice into water, first make sure you're not in danger also. If you are able to pull him out safely, try to make sure he's breathing normally - drowning is the most common result of falling through the ice. 

In the winter, it's important to remember just how dangerous one of our most common car maintenance procedures can be. Antifreeze damages kidneys, and pets readily lap up this sweet-tasting poison. As little as one teaspoonful can kill a small pet. 

Be careful this winter season and clean up all spills and dispose of empty containers safely. Consider using Sierra, the new and safer brand of antifreeze. 

So take time to be aware of your pet's special needs during our special season - and you'll both have a safe and happy winter. The life you save could be your own pet's!

This information is provided to you compliments of:
Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association
P.O. Box 154, Barrington, RI 02806-0154
(401) 521-0101