Every year at this time it is a good idea to check over the following tips and reminders from the California Veterinary Clinic and Animal Health Center so your pets will enjoy the winter season.
Antifreeze: antifreeze can be lethal. It contains ethylene glycol, which is sweet tasting to your pet. Always clean up any spills in the garage or driveway. If your pet licks some or you suspect they have, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Car engines: as the weather turns cooler, cats like to sleep near a warm engine, curling up on or under the hood. Make sure you always know the location of your cat and honk your horn before starting the car.
Sweets: too much holiday candy is as bad for your pet as it is for owners. Stomach aches and cavities are the milder side effects, while an over-indulgence in chocolate can prove to be fatal. Chocolate poisoning is caused by theobromine, a caffeine chemical substance found naturally in chocolate. Keep those chocolate kisses well away from curious pets.
Frostbite: frostbite is the number one winter pet hazard. Cats should stay indoors and owners should shorten dog exercise walks when the temperature falls.
Rock salt: rock salt used to melt snow and ice can cause irritation to paw pads. Rub a bit of baby oil and sprinkle some baby powder on the pads before going outside. Clean pads before coming back inside.
Adequate shelter: if your pet must be outside at all, make sure you provide adequate shelter. A doghouse should be no more than three times the size of the dog. Cedar shavings make the best bedding. Avoid blankets and straw, they harbor fleas.
Dandruff: with the dry winter air, dandruff becomes a problem. Keeping your pet brushed will help remedy this condition. We have the proper skin moisturizers and food supplements to prevent dryness from winter heating.
Toenails: without hard surfaces to act as a natural file, dog's toenails are longer in the winter. Regular clipping is the solution.
Diet: just like people, pets burn more calories in the winter. Your veterinarian can help determine if your pets diet is adequate and balanced.
Dehydration: make sure your pet's water stays unfrozen. It is better to use a porcelain pottery bowl, not metal, to prevent tongues from sticking.
Holiday plants: holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are extremely poisonous when eaten. You can enjoy their beauty by placing them well out of reach of curious pets.
Electric cords: Puppies and kittens like to chew on everything. Keep cords out of reach.
The California Veterinary Clinic is located at Highway 87 N California. For more information, call 573-796-3168.