Keeping Your Pet Safe This Winter

Veterinarians warn pet owners to guard against serious safety hazards facing animals this winter.

Anti-freeze poisoning can be deadly and it's the number one concern vets have, they are urging pet owners to keep it out of reach.   They also say pets are also in danger of getting frost bite or hypothermia.

"It's just a matter of getting them warmed up, but we have several animals through the winter that do die from hypothermia." said Veterinary Technician Shawm Morris at Small Animal Emergency Clinic.

They can also lose limbs to frost bite, so keeping them warm is key to keeping your pet safe.

"There are products available like little winter jackets or boots that you can get from any pet store or on-line that will keep them from getting too cold or exposed on their paws." Morris Continues.

Morris also says pet owners should only keep animals outside for 10 to 15 minutes in freezing temperatures and use plastic water bowls to keep water from freezing as fast.  When you bring them back in be sure to wipe their paws and undercoats so ice isn't left on the skin.  Also, if you have an outside dog, keep them in a dog house above ground and away from the wind.

"The temp of the ground drops significantly so anything in direct contact with the ground will drop also."

Vets warn antifreeze poisoning is one of the most serious problems they see all winter long.

Moris says, "keep any chemicals out of there reach."

Vets also recommend checking under your car or hood for cats, because they like to go there for warmth.  They say rattle your hood or beep your horn to make sure they are not there.