Traveling with a pet during wintry conditions demands owners remain alert. If staying in a hotel or visiting a home, prepare and protect pets properly for walks because snow and ice is slippery for them also. Automatically a person, knowing it is time to go outside in bad weather, will pull on the proper attire before walking out the door. If the dog is whining, signaling it is time to hurry, preparation prior to leaving on the dog’s part might turn into only grabbing the leash and fastening it. If it is icy or snowing outside that might not be enough. Taking a moment to assess the situation first may turn out to be tremendously beneficial for an animal’s health in the long run. If traveling in unfamiliar terrain, watching the news and researching the weather may provide important information about hazards like black ice or intense winds, which can affect a pet, just like its owner. Here a few tips for protecting pets around ice and snow during winter travel.
According to KTVZ News in Oregon, 32 degrees (F) is the temperature signal to protect pets. If a pet is traveling, seeing ice and snow for the first time is exciting. Similar to a child, an animal may ignore the weather and not feel the temperature dropping. It is important if walking in that temperature to check their reaction to it and to move at a pace that encourages them to go. Dogs and cats are not much different from humans in extreme weather; they can also experience frost bite.
When walking the dog, Dr. Janet Toblassen advises trimming the hair a little or applying petroleum or olive oil to their paws for protection against ice balls gathering between their pad paws. Toblasson also advises boots if the pet will allow it, and The Weather Channel advises putting on a sweater. If the pet starts to shiver while outdoors, go inside immediately. If walking in a snowstorm, be sure to keep the dog on a leash. The snow may affect its ability to smell, which may affect its sense of direction. This could be detrimental if the pet is in an unfamiliar location with little visibility.
It is also important to be aware if walking pets through a parking lot. Ice and snow are not the only things owners need to protect pets from. Cars can overheat often and leak antifreeze in this weather. If there is ice or a lot of snow on the ground, the substance may not be visible at first. This means an animal may smell it before it is seen by the owner. According to Mother Earth News, antifreeze is poisonous and it has a sweetness to it that dogs and cats are often curiously drawn to similar to the way a child is drawn to candy. If the pet’s paws encounters the liquid, clean their paws with soap and water before they get a chance to lick them. Rock salt and other de-icing chemicals are dangerous if ingested as well and are harmful to exposed pet paws.
If visiting someone who prefers pets eat outdoors, check the animal and its water often. Pets that are used to being inside are susceptible to the effects of snow and ice quicker than animals used to being in the elements. Protecting pets around ice and snow, especially while traveling requires a delicate balance between the owner’s and the animal’s needs.
By Dada Ra
The Weather Channel