GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Not only are freezing temps hazardous for humans, but they are also harmful to pets.
From nose to toes, here are some tips to keep in mind before bringing your pet outdoors this winter from Liz Kyostia, Chuck and Don's-Maple Grove.
1. Make sure your pet is dressed appropriately for the winter weather in protective clothing, including booties. If you can't touch your bare hand to the ground for more than 5 seconds, your pet's paws shouldn't be outside unprotected.
2. Keep the pads on your pet's paws safe from the winter salt as the salt can cause cracking of the pads and even bleeding. A great option to keep pets' paws safe is to use dog booties. If you do not have booties, clean your pet's paws with warm water and dry completely after going outside.
3. Another way to protect pets' paws is to use Paw Thaw to de-ice your driveway. Most ice melters are made from rock salt or calcium chloride. Paw Thaw is made from a combination of fertilizer and non-corrosive products that will be less harmful to your pet.
Did you know, that when your pet is outdoors it takes more energy to stay warm? Make sure your pet is on a good, healthy diet to help his/her winter metabolism. Also, keep water bowls full and make sure they are not frozen.
Other cold weather pet safety tips-
- Keep pets indoors during extreme cold
- If you think you've been outside long enough and it's time to go inside to warm up, the same is true for your pet. Even with winter apparel, you don't want your pet outside for too long. If you notice your pet becoming less active, lifting paws or looking for a place to burrow, it's time to go inside.
If you're concerned your pet has frostbite, common signs in pets are:
1. The affected area may appear pale, white or blue
2. Swelling, redness when circulation returns
3. Blisters, or dead/blackened skin may occur
Also, don't leave pets in cars when temperatures are low.