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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow Safety For Your Pets

What with the large amount of snow occurring in the United States and other parts of the world, pet owners may not be aware that there are dangers lurking on sidewalks and driveways that could cause your pet discomfort and severe issues.

A lot of pet owners aren't aware that the types of de-icers used on roads, sidewalks, driveways, and other areas can be dangerous to their pets.

De-icing agents such as salt and salt-based ice melting products can contain harmful chemicals that can cause (among other things): dermatitis, inflammation of the paws, gastrointestinal issues, burning and irritation to the mouth and intestinal tract if licked or swallowed. The salt or product can get on their paws and later, when licked, cause burns and irritation on the paws and in the mouth, eyes, and intestinal tract. Some de-icers warm up to 175 degrees.

If you walk your pet on city streets that have been treated, you can purchase dog booties to keep their feet from touching and coming in contact with the de-icer. Don't let them lick or eat the snow if you think its been treated (and remember, even snow that is in yard could be contaminated from snowplows throwing treated road debris into yards), and in your own household, use "Pet Friendly" products to de-ice.

If you don't have booties or your dogs doesn't like to wear them, when you return from your walk, rinse your pet's feet off thoroughly to make sure there are no residual chemicals on their feet or fur that they can later lick off and become sick.

While this is not an endorsement for a particular product, nor is Gimpydogs paid to endorse this product, the only "pet friendly" non-salt container de-icer currently on the market is a product called "Safe Paws", and is available in most large pet retail stores.

If your pet comes into contact with de-icer agents and is experiencing skin irritation, or vomiting, please consult with your vet on the next step of treatment.