Protecting Pets from Dangerous Winter Conditions

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

The onset of dangerously cold, adverse weather conditions for the Chicago metropolitan area require action from pet owners. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association provides the following guidelines for the public to keep their pets safe from the weather hazards and prevent serious health threats.

• In times of subzero temperatures, even outdoor pets should be brought inside until the severe cold has passed. If they are having difficulty walking or breathing, they should be brought inside and warmed. Injuries from exposure to cold are easily prevented.

• Dogs can, and do, get frostbite and hypothermia. Short haired dogs can benefit from a doggie coat when walking outdoors. All dogs should become acclimated to the colder weather. A dog should be properly conditioned before running with its owner. An owner should know and avoid areas with potential water hazards and keep their dog on a leash to avoid falling through broken ice.

• Salt or ice melting products can be harmful to the feet of dogs. Pet owners should thoroughly rinse the paws after returning from a walk outside. Spilled antifreeze should be cleaned immediately; even in very small quantities this can be highly toxic to both dogs and cats because of the ethylene glycol. If untreated, ethylene glycol poisoning is always fatal.

Taking these preventative action steps now will help to keep pets safe and healthy, and allow for owners and their pets and to have an enjoyable winter. For more information about the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, please visit

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