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Tips for Walking Cats & Dogs in the Winter

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Tips for Walking Cats & Dogs in the Winter

 

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

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Read more: Cats, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, Safety, , , , ,

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Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit petMD.com.

115 comments

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4:31PM PST on Dec 26, 2013

Thanks for Sharing.

7:09PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

thanks so much. Never even considered some of these

8:17AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:46PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

Thanks for this useful information, and thanks, too, to Blair for informing us about a previously unknown-to-me danger.

2:56PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

7:10PM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Thanks for the information

12:56AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

मजेदार

8:19AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Thanks our gov. it is no longer legal to spread salt on the streets. Chemicals, I have even never heard of that before? Here that must have been before I was born if that was the case... :) And spiling stuff on the ground is just irresponsible. For 3 years of having a car, I have only once accidentally spilled some petrol when filling the car and that is an area where you do NOT walk your dogs .... The petrol station!

12:46AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Really good advice. It made me think that I should check my dogs paws after a walk even on good days, because there could be gravel etc on her paws.

2:31PM PST on Nov 13, 2012

thanks for the information

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