If your dog or cat spends any amount of time outdoors, winter can be a particularly dangerous time. While the freshly fallen snow can make the world appear as a winter wonderland, there are a lot of hidden hazards to be aware of. Ice covered sidewalks, chemicals scattered across driveways and walkways, these conditions can be hazardous to animals and humans alike. Keep yourself and your pet safe this winter season by being aware and taking precautions.
Chemicals on the Ground
It is common practice to apply chemicals to sidewalks and driveways so that the ice can be made to melt, or just to make it so that the feet can grip the ground easier. The problem with these chemicals is that they get onto animalsí unprotected feet, where they can irritate the skin or get into small abrasions in the foot pads. The animal may also lick the chemicals off of their feet and ingest them, resulting in stomach and intestinal problems. There are products that are relatively safe for animals, but not everyone uses a pet-friendly product for their sidewalks and driveways.
One solution is to outfit your dog with a set of booties, so that the foot pads are protected. Booties are also good for keeping hard snow and ice out of the spaces between the toes, something that can be very painful for an animal.
If your pet will not tolerate wearing booties, you will need to be vigilant about cleaning your petís feet and underside as soon as you return home from a walk. A simple rag that has been dipped in warm water will do the job.
It is also a good idea to make a habit of checking your dog or catís feet on a regular basis after they come in from outside to be sure that the footpads and toes are clean and free of abrasions.
See Also: How to Walk Your Cat