How To Keep Your Dogs and Cats Safe During Winter
Did you know that conventional de-icing products can heat up to 170 degrees when mixed with water? Learn what products may lead to adverse health effects in your pets during winter.
Did you know that antifreeze is slightly sweet and can be enticing to pets but can lead to acute kidney failure? Learn about different chemicals and how they could be affecting your pet's health.
"When buying safer ice melts, don’t buy based on price, and make sure you’re reading the ingredient list."
Find out how to reduce the risk of harm and utilize paw balms to protect your dog's feet from snow, ice, and chemicals.
To get Earth Buddy's Paw and Skin balm, click here and enter code drkate for a 10% discount.
Try the DIY natural pet paw balm to keep your dog's paws safe during the winter.
To get high-quality essential oils for your DIY Paw Balm recipe, click here.
Watch the video to learn what to avoid, what to use, and how to keep your dogs and cats safe during the winter.
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Did you know popular salt de-icer products can heat up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to burns on your precious pet’s paw pads? Or that ethylene glycol or antifreeze is sweet, causing many pets, especially cats, to ingest this toxic and potentially fatal substance?
There are numerous toxins that are more prevalent during wintertime that you must know about as a pet parent.
In this short video, I’m going to cover what you need to know about keeping your pets safe this winter indoors and outside.
Hey pet parents, I’m Dr. Katie Woodley, The Natural Pet Doctor. I’m a holistic veterinarian who’s on a mission to help pets thrive naturally by empowering pet parents like you. If you’re excited to learn more about how you can help your pets achieve optimal health, make sure you hit that subscribe button below. New videos post every Monday on our channel so make sure you hit the bell to receive notifications, so you never miss out on our new content.
Wintertime is here – it’s a time for snowmen, the holidays, sledding, skiing and so many other fun things. However, it’s also a time where numerous dangers pop up for dogs and cats that can lead to harm and even death.
The first area you need to be aware of is toxins in the environment.
Ethylene glycol, or anti-freeze, is a sweet-tasting liquid that could be leaking from your car or one that you pass by on walks. Dogs, and especially cats, are drawn to it and if ingested can lead to severe illness and even acute kidney failure. It’s important to be check if your car is leaking antifreeze or other chemicals to make sure your pet may not inadvertently come into contact with it.
This is also important for other fluids, like winter-weather windshield fluid. Use products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol if possible. Propylene glycol is still a chemical, but it is much safer if small amounts are accidentally ingested versus ethylene glycol.
The second area you need to be aware of is the salt that is being put on the ground to de-ice sidewalks, roads, and driveways.
The majority of salts being used for deicing are comprised of magnesium chloride or sodium chloride and can cause gastrointestinal upset or electrolyte imbalances if ingested. The biggest problem is that these salts can lead to burns, cuts, and irritations on your pet’s paw pads. The chemical reaction that occurs when these salts mix with water (aka the ice) can lead to temperatures up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit! Ouch!
This is why it’s so important to not only use safe de-icers on your property but to make sure you wash and wipe off your pet’s paw pads after going for a walk, to make sure you remove any of these types of salts, and also monitor for any cracks, cuts or burns that can happen from ice balls stuck to the fur or these sharp salt crystals.
What are safer options to help protect your pet’s paws?
When buying safer ice melts don’t buy based on price and make sure you’re reading the ingredient list. You want salt and chloride free products.
A couple of brands that are well-known and recommended by many veterinarians include Safe Paw Ice Melter by Safe Paw, Paw Thaw Ice Melt for Pets, and Snow and Ice Melter Safe for Pets and Paws by Just For Pets. With any of these products, it’s important to still assess the ingredients and do your own research, because the product formulations could change at any time.
One natural remedy you can use to help protect your pet’s paws is paw balm. Paw balms should be applied to your dog’s paws before going outside. A popular brand is Mushers Secret which was originally created for dog sledders. This product is made from 100% natural food-grade wax, so it’s safe it’s accidentally ingested by your dog. The other beneficial property of this product is that it provides enough of a barrier to protect your dog’s paws comparable to wearing booties.
Another safe, natural product you can use is Earth Buddy’s Paw and Skin Balm. This natural product combines whole-plant hemp extract with organic coconut oil, organic mango butter, and organic beeswax to help soothe irritated and inflamed skin and paws. You can find a link below to this product along with a discount code.
Now if you’re like me, you love making your own home-made natural remedies for yourself and your pets. If you do, make sure you hit that like button below, so I know to give you even more videos with more home-made health remedies.
Here’s a simple home-made natural paw balm that is super easy to make. You can use a double boiler over low heat (super easy to make your own with a glass mason jar too) and add these ingredients:
· 2 TBSP olive oil
· 2 TBSP coconut oil
· 1 TBSP shea butter
· 4 tsp beeswax pellets
· 1 tsp vitamin E oil
· 20 drops of lavender essential oil (this is mixed in after the oils are removed from heat and are cooling)
Stir all of the ingredients together until the beeswax is melted and then pour into a round metal tin or keep in a wide-mouth glass jar and let it set.
Lavender essential oil is a great addition because it contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is very important when adding essential oils that you only use pure, organic, non-adulterated (not synthetic) essential oils from quality brands, or else you can cause adverse side effects in your pets. A brand that I’ve used for years around my pets, that I love and trust is Young Living. You can find a link below for how you can get high-quality essential oils.
This balm can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature. If the room temperature is warmer, the oil mix may soften but can be placed in the fridge to make it more solid. You’ll want to use this balm within 1-2 years.
Another danger area that many pet parents don’t realize could lead to harm is space heaters, baseboard radiators, and the fireplace. You’d think that your dogs and cats would realize that it’s too hot and their skin is burning when they lay up against these things, but many pets don’t.
If you’re using space heaters in your house for heat, make sure to never leave them on when you’re not in the room. If you have baseboard radiators, you may be able to find fire-safe protective covers that will help keep your pet safe if they do lean or sleep against them. Also, don’t forget that many cats may jump on the top of a wood-burning fireplace, so make sure to monitor your cats. You don’t want any burned paws or skin at this time of year.
Finally, it’s important to recognize that every pet is different. Dogs come in all different sizes and have different fur coats. A huskie with a double layer Arctic coat is going to be able to tolerate colder temperatures compared to a little chihuahua. If you feel uncomfortable wearing a t-shirt outside, then it’s most likely too cold for your pet.
Clothing, like jackets and booties, can be used to help your pets tolerate the colder weather better. Remember you need to help them adjust to wearing clothing safely first before leaving them unsupervised. A dog who is not used to wearing a jacket, may experience fear and try to get out of the coat, get caught which may even lead to a choking hazard. For more information on how to assess How Cold is Too Cold for Your Dog and get other tips head to our blog post link at www.thenaturalpetdoctor.com below.
Getting outside with your dog and keeping them safe doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. Follow the above tips and be aware of the potential hazards and you and your fur family can enjoy the winter months while staying healthy.
If you found this video helpful, click the like button and hit the button to subscribe so you never mix out on our future content that gets released every Monday. As always, I love hearing from amazing pet parents like you, so if you have other pet health topics you’d like to hear about, make sure to leave a comment below. As always, you have the power to help your pet live a long and vibrant life. Together we can make the change that’s needed to help your fur family thrive naturally. Until next time, I’m Dr. Katie. Take care, pet parents!
*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.