Tips to keep Fido safe this winter - WNEM TV 5

Tips to keep Fido safe this winter

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Michigan winters can be harsh for anyone but there are certain steps pet-owners can take to keep their furry friends safe.

These winter weather tips come from Dr. Loretta Lee, an emergency veterinarian with Michigan Veterinary Specialists.

Dogs and cats can get frostbite. If a dog or cat is exposed to very cold temperatures for more than a brief period of time the pet can develop frostbite. Signs include shivering and visible redness or pale patches. Check ears, feet and tail for redness in early stages of frost bite. If a pet has advanced frostbite you may notice pale or white patches, in that case bring the animal inside immediately.

Keep antifreeze away from pets. It is highly toxic to people and animals. Cats and dogs are attracted to its sweet smell and taste, and will often try to drink some if left out in a container or spilled on the garage floor. If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Similar to when it is hot outside, never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather either. In the winter, a car holds in the cold like a refrigerator and your pet could potentially freeze to death.

Cold, damp weather can also aggravate health problems in pets just like in humans. The weather can especially worsen arthritis symptoms in dogs and cats. If your pet is having trouble getting up or laying down, walking the stairs, or has started to cry when being picked up, a visit to the veterinarian is in order.

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