WINTER WEATHER SAFETY FOR YOUR PETS
Labrador Rescue Kent and Borders issues advice to owners
With the weather forecasts hinting at snow, Labrador Rescue Kent and Borders (LRK) offers some tips to keep your pet in tip top shape during the cold weather.
Check your dogs paws and ears as they can get frostbite, also paws can be irritated by the salt and grit put down on roads and paths.
Keep your pets away from antifreeze, as it can be fatal causing kidney damage if drunk. Cats and dogs are drawn to it because of its sweet taste.
Like humans dogs and cats who suffer from arthritis find the cold weather aggravates it, so keep your pet warm, even give them a heat pad to help ease the pain.
Dogs with short hair can feel the cold. They are OK when exercising but if you are out and standing still a lot with your dog, do consider getting your pet a coat, and one that is highly visible
“Some people get caught out”, warns Maggie Hinks, LRK trustee, ”You need to think about your pet, check your dog as you would your child, making sure they do not touch chemicals, get frostbite and are warm enough.”
PINE NEEDLES, BAUBLES, CHOCOLATE, BOOZE AND ANTIFREEZE – JUST A FEW OF THE HAZARDS THAT CAN HARM YOUR HOUNDS THIS CHRISTMAS
-LRK issues top 10 dangers for your dogs at Christmas -
Christmas can be a nightmare for dog owners as there are hundreds of hazards that could harm your hound warns Kent charity Labrador Rescue Kent and Borders (LRK).
Here is a list of the top dangers for your dogs at Christmas time: -
In at number one is chocolate which can be fatal if eaten by a dog. Chocolate contains a toxic element called theobromine which dogs are particularly sensitive to. Humans can process this toxin, but dogs are unable to. Even the smallest amount can kill.
“It is better to be safe than sorry,” says LRK trustee Maggie Hinks, “and to make sure that all chocolate is out of reach and kept in a closed cupboard.”
If a dog has eaten some chocolate it may suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea, and muscle spasm. It will then have convulsions and could even die.
At number two we have car anti-freeze which is sweet tasting and irresistible, but fatal to dogs (and cats). Mop up any spills as even a small amount could kill.
At number three LRK ranks your Christmas decorations as posing a problem to your hounds... real trees may be the bees knees but pine needles can very easily get into your dogs paws and will require a trip to the vets. Glass baubles can either get stuck in a dog’s throat or if broken can also get into its paws. Tinsel and foil are not good if eaten by your pet.
Popular Christmas plants – Poinsettias, Amaryllis and Mistletoe come in at number four. Their red glow isn’t just appealing to humans; many dogs will find these plants irresistible too. It’s therefore important these plants are kept out of reach, as they are poisonous and can cause mouth or stomach irritation from just eating a small part of the plant. Mistletoe berries, in particular, can be even more toxic than poinsettias.
At number five we have cooked turkey bones which might become lodged in a dog’s throat or perforate its intestinal tract.
Humans might like to have some grapes or dried fruit with their cheese, but at number six grapes, and raisins found in mince pies, Christmas pudding and cake, can be fatal for dogs.
At number seven LRK says it might be tempting to dress up your dog in costume but they can annoy animals and pose health and safety hazards. If you do put your dog into costume make sure it can breathe, see and hear. If possible avoid masks on your pet. Remove any small or dangly accessories that could be chewed or swallowed.
As family and friends come to celebrate don’t forget your dog will not always want to be in the thick of it, so make sure your pet has a safe place to relax and be away from all the noise and bustle..(number eight)
At nine, as we drink more alcohol and use it in our cooking, this too is intoxicating for our pets, so don’t leave it out where dogs can get at it and don’t feed your dog any sauces that have been made with alcohol.
And finally at number ten, don’t forget to take your dog on his normal walk, a lack of exercise can make the dog out of sorts and not so friendly.