Keep pets safe as record lows forecast for most of country


NEW YORK – Winter is back with a vengeance this year and doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners want people to make sure their pets are safe.

“Cold temperatures and the injuries associated with the winter-related weather can often be avoided,” said Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “As the current weather reminds us of those potential problems, we hope this list will offer some valuable guidance and reminders.”

  • Ice on roadways can clearly cause automobile accidents. When people bring their pets in their vehicles, they’re are often left unsecured. This can cause serious injury or death. Please limit the time your pet is in an automobile to the absolute minimum.
  • Ice on walkways and compressed snow can become very slippery. Dogs or cats could potentially injure themselves by slipping. Always make sure that if your pet has experienced an injury that you have him examined by a veterinarian.
  • Deicers can be toxic to pets. Check with your veterinarian and local pet store to see which deicers are non-toxic to animals.
  • Similar to when it is hot outside, never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. In the winter, a car holds in the cold like a refrigerator and your pet could potentially freeze to death.
  • Dogs and cats can get frostbite! Any dog or cat who is exposed to very cold temperatures for more than brief periods of time can develop frostbite.  If pets begin to shiver or their ears, tail, and feet show signs of frostbite such as redness in the early stages and pale, white or patches in more advanced cases of frostbite, bring them inside immediately.
  • Antifreeze is highly toxic to people and animals. Cats and dogs are attracted to its sweet smell and taste, and will often sample 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. The success of treatment to antifreeze exposure depends on quick action.
  • Much like humans, damp and cold weather can aggravate symptoms associated with arthritis in dogs and cats. If your pet is having trouble getting up or laying down, walking the stairs, or cries out when being picked up, a visit to the veterinarian is in order.
  • Never medicate your dog or cat with human prescriptions or over-the-counter medications without consulting your veterinarian first. Most of them are toxic for pets; numerous arthritis treatments are available for them. Also, your dog or cat deserves a comfortable bed. Several pet and feed stores carry safe heated floor mats or non-electric warm bedding.
  • Pets need to have fresh water at all times. If you leave water outside for your pets, be sure it  does not freeze.
  • Animals may seek shelter near something warm like a car engine on cold days. If an animal is near the engine when the car is started, serious injury can occur.
  • Starting a car to warm it up in a garage will trap carbon monoxide. It can only take a few minutes for a small pet to die in a sealed garage with a car running.
  • During winter months, rodents are often attracted to the warmth of homes. Make sure poisons and rodenticides are out of reach of pets.

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs  1,800 team members including more than 450 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl does not provide primary care. The company is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship programs. BluePearl also participates in clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of new veterinary drugs and treatments, providing pet families access to cutting-edge medicine that is not yet commercially available. BluePearl is headquartered in Tampa, Fla.