Winter is Coming

Photo courtesy of Kiri Burner

Luckily this past week has been mild, but Chicagoans are prepared for how brutal Midwest winters can be. Here are some tips on how to keep all our furry family members safe and warm during the winter.

Deck the Paws

Dog owners especially understand the importance of dressing appropriately when taking their pups on walks. Just remember, some pups need a little extra help staying warm in the cold, especially those with thinner fur. Whenever putting a coat on your dog, remember never put a damp coat on them and go back outside since this can quickly deplete their body heat. Also, check your dog’s paws after walks for any salt or snow build up in between their pads since this can cause irritation. Since dogs can lose body heat through their paw pads, boots can a helpful way to keep them warm

Ice Ice Baby

One of the most common remedies to help people from slipping when it’s icy outside is to use ice melt. When purchasing ice melt there are a variety of different chemical ingredients, but the only ones you need to remember are salt and chloride. Look for products that do not contain either of these ingredients since they are considered non-toxic.

Most likely it is going to be unavoidable for our pups not to come in contact with ice melt this season. If your dog ingests salt or ice melt, the most common clinical sign noted by the ASPCA is vomiting. Other symptoms could include diarrhea, tremors, disorientation, loss of appetite, increased water intake and seizures. In extreme cases, it can be fatal. To keep your dog safe, wipe their paws after every walk or have them wear boots.

Winter Woes

Many dog owners in the Lakeview area know that when the snow starts to fall, other owners may not be as courteous when picking up their dog’s poop. This means our pups can still contract an intestinal parasite in the winter! To keep your furry family member safe, wipe their paws after every walk with a baby wipe to help lessen the chances of contamination.

For any further questions on how to keep your dog safe in the winter, please call us at: (773) 327-4446.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.