[nagdu] With Snow on the Way, Fidelco Says Don't Forget Pets in Storm Preparations

Steven Johnson blinddog3 at charter.net
Fri Jan 3 01:20:50 UTC 2014

With our impending  weather here in the Midwest, it's not the idea of a
storm, but severe cold that will only in some areas like here in Western
Wisconsin, reach 10 below zero early next week...for a high.  Our dogs are
definitely durable, but this is some pretty heavy bitterly cold tems.  Some
of the night time lows may be approaching 30 below and windchills 50 below.
Needless to say, we are preparing in finding alternative transportation to
and from work.

Steve & Bennett

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ginger Kutsch
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 9:53 AM
To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: [nagdu] With Snow on the Way, Fidelco Says Don't Forget Pets in
Storm Preparations

With Snow on the Way, Fidelco Says Don't Forget Pets in Storm Preparations 

Life - The Litchfield County Times



BLOOMFIELD, Conn. - Winter weather isn't just hazardous to people, it's
dangerous for our pets, too! As Connecticut braces for a winter wallop, Dr.
RuthAnn Solomon DVM, Director of Animal Medicine at the Fidelco Guide Dog
Foundation wants residents to remember these key points to keep their pets
warm and safe. By planning ahead of the storm, pets and people will be
properly prepared!




Keep your pets inside! All pets need shelter and insulation from the cold.
Cats and dogs may wear fur coats but they aren't equipped to be out in
freezing temperatures for long periods of time. Domesticated animals are not
adapted to the cold like wolves or bobcats. Bottom line- if it's too cold
for you to stay outside, it's too cold for your pet.


If you absolutely must keep an animal outside, be certain it has an
insulated shelter, access to plenty of fresh (not frozen) water and increase
their food to two times normal serving, e.g., if they get one cup of kibble
per meal, give them two cups for that meal. A pet's energy requirements
increase to maintain body temperature (shivering for example) and those
living in a very cold climate have a greater caloric need just to stay warm
than the average dog that lives indoors.


If you need to go outside during the storm, limit exposure and make sure
your dog is on a leash and wearing an ID tag. During heavy snowfall, they
can lose their scent and become lost. More dogs get lost during winter than
any other time of year.


Keep candles, heat lamps and space heaters away from pets, children and
flammable materials. These are all burn and fire hazards. Inspect any pet
heating blankets or pads for frays or exposed wires, and never leave a pet
unattended with such a device.


For those that use Duraflame logs, those logs are actually sawdust pulled
together with wax. Those two ingredients make for an attractive snack for
dogs! Duraflame log ingestion will usually just cause mild gastric upset;
however the problem arises when the dog eats a big piece which could cause
an intestinal obstruction. So please leave these logs of convenience well
out of reach of your pets.




Protect those paws! Ice and snow can easily collect between paw pads. Check
your dog's feet periodically, especially if they are limping or walking


Keep dogs off the ice and away from frozen bodies of water. Thin ice poses a
grave danger for pets and humans alike, and even a walk on an icy sidewalk
puts your pet at risk of injuries like torn ligaments and footpads.


Salt, antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and chemical de-icers on roads and
sidewalks are dangerous for your pet. Dogs that lick their paws or fur and
ingest these substances can become ill. Wipe your pup's paws, legs and
stomach with a warm, wet washcloth after walks and outdoor playtime.


Speaking of antifreeze, there are two commercial products available in the
US that have a "safer" chemical (propylene glycol) in them: Sierra and
LowTox. However, just because they are safer does not mean that they are
non-toxic! For example, it would only take ONE teaspoon of ethylene glycol
antifreeze (more dangerous form) to be deadly to a 7lb cat. It would take
several ounces of the safer form to be a problem.




Take extra care with puppies and older dogs, especially those with
arthritis. Wet, cold weather can worsen arthritis symptoms. Do not leave
young, old or sick dogs outside unattended at any time.


Certain medical conditions like diabetes can affect your pet's ability to
regulate body temperature. Check with your veterinarian.


Further, winter does not necessarily mean the end of bug season. Likewise,
winter does not mean you should stop giving heartworm, flea, and tick
preventatives to your cherished companions. As the old saying goes: It is
better to be safe than sorry and continuous use of these preventatives is
the simplest act you can make to keep your pet safe.


Lastly, have the following numbers programmed into your charged cell phone:


-Your veterinarian


-Local animal emergency clinic


-Poison Control (1-800-222-1222)


-ASPCA Poison Control (1-888-426-4435)


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