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Pet Safety for Winter

Petland Kansas City has put together a list of pet safety tips for winter. For anyone with pets or a new puppy, the winter time holds potential dangers for all pets. Be prepared and keep your furry friend safe by following these helpful tips! DON’T LET YOUR PUPPY EAT SNOW Snow is beautiful! Who doesn’t […]


Petland Kansas City has put together a list of pet safety tips for winter. For anyone with pets or a new puppy, the winter time holds potential dangers for all pets. Be prepared and keep your furry friend safe by following these helpful tips!


DON’T LET YOUR PUPPY EAT SNOW

A cute Golden Retriever puppy lays down in the snow after playing outside in winter. The snow is fresh and clean, showing that there are no salt hazards.


Snow is beautiful! Who doesn’t love the first snowfall? Thanks to a fresh blanket of snow, kids can make snowmen and get into snowball fights! But snowy weather poses a unique hazard to puppies, dogs, and other pets. This hazard has to do with salt.


In order to prevent frozen roads and slippery sidewalks, salt is sprinkled just about everywhere. Even homeowners will sprinkle salt on the walkways, stoops, and outdoor stairs. Salt never fails to melt the ice and snow. But unfortunately, when a puppy, dog, or other pet licks that yummy salt, they can become fatally ill. This illness is called “salt sickness.” And it’s very serious in puppies. 


In order to prevent your puppy from getting salt sickness, we recommend that you never allow your puppy outside unsupervised, unless it’s the backyard or other fenced in areas that have not been salted. 


When you take your puppy for a walk, don’t let him lick the sidewalk or ingest snow or drink from any slush puddles. Then, when you return home, be sure to wash your puppies’ paws. If slush splashed up his legs, wash his legs, too. This will remove the hazardous salt from his fur and paw pads. 


We also suggest that for your own property, driveway, and sidewalks that you use “pet-friendly” ice melts. These are certified as non-harmful to animals. But even if you use pet-friendly ice melt for your own driveway, steps, and sidewalk, you should still prevent your puppy from licking his paws while on walks, and please routinely clean your puppy’s paws after trips outside. 


DON’T LEAVE YOUR PUPPY AROUND IDLING VEHICLES

An adult purebred German Shepherd stands near the rear of an idling hatchback sedan during wintertime. This shows a specific hazard to dogs, puppies, and pets, which is carbon monoxide poisoning.


Carbon monoxide poisoning in puppies, dogs, and other pets like cats occurs when vehicles are left idling outside. A dog or puppy may seek out the warmth of the vehicle’s exhaust. Just by standing in the warm exhaust, the pet is then exposed to carbon monoxide. More often than not, carbon monoxide poisoning happens to cats, especially stray cats, as well as rodents. But it can still harm dogs. 


It’s common for people to warm up their vehicles remotely before they leave their homes. But when you have pets like a puppy, you need to be extremely careful. Even if you remotely start your car with the garage door open, the carbon monoxide from the exhaust can build up in the air. Make sure your puppy and other pets are safely inside the house and cannot go near the idling car. 


Even if your car is sitting in the driveway, keep your puppy and other pets inside when your vehicle is idling to warm up. Otherwise, your puppy may investigate the exhaust, smell it, and become poisoned. 


Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a possibility wherever there’s combustion, which could be inside the home. Wood-burning stoves, open fireplaces, and other indoor heating and cooking systems that use combustion can leech carbon monoxide into the air. Be sure to keep carbon monoxide detectors around your home, and regularly test them before, during, and after the winter months. 


Lastly, if you notice that your puppy becomes lethargic, suddenly lacks coordination, or suddenly develops any other peculiar symptoms, do not ignore these signs. They could be an indication that there’s a carbon monoxide leak somewhere in your home. 


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms in Puppies:


  1. Lethargy, i.e. your puppy is sleepier or drowsier than usual.
  2. Irritable behavior, i.e. your puppy displays sudden, unusual behavior such as aggression or anxiety, especially towards noises from children or other pets.
  3. Difficulty breathing, i.e. your puppy is panting or taking in short, shallow breaths.
  4. Vomiting, i.e. if your puppy did not eat anything unusual recently, this symptom might be due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  5. Uncoordinated movements. Carbon monoxide poisoning in dogs affects the brain, so their movements might be clumsier than usual.
  6. Refusing to enter the house after being taken outside. If your dog is already bothered by the toxic air, they might refuse to return indoors.
  7. Cherry-red skin, nostrils, lips, ears, and gums. This is a common side effect of carbon monoxide exposure, but not all dog breeds exhibit it.
  8. Loss of exercise stamina, i.e. your puppy is less enthusiastic about playtime lately and displays an unusual tolerance to their favorite activities.


If you suspect your puppy has been exposed to carbon monoxide, or if your puppy exhibits any of the above signs, you must take your puppy to the emergency vet right away. 


WATCH OUT FOR ANTIFREEZE PUDDLES & ANTIFREEZE LEAKS 


If you live in cold weather climates, then you know that your car won’t run properly without antifreeze. Antifreeze regulates the temperature of your car’s engine, preventing it from locking up and failing during below-freezing weather. Antifreeze is also added to windshield wiper solution and other liquids that keep your automobile running smoothly. 


When vehicles with antifreeze sit in garages, driveways, and sidewalks, the antifreeze can leak from the radiator onto the pavement and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, antifreeze smells and tastes “sweet,” which can attract animals, including your puppy. 


It is absolutely vital to the health and safety of your puppy that you do not expose him to antifreeze. Even a full-grown, adult dog that ingests antifreeze could die from this poison. Instances when death isn’t the result can still render a dog’s kidneys permanently damaged. 


You can prevent antifreeze poisoning by remaining aware of your vehicles. If you notice your radiator leaking or notice any leaks around your vehicle, bring your car to the mechanic to be fixed. You can dump kitty litter on the ground where the leak pooled. Do not let your dog go anywhere near the spill. 


Antifreeze Poisoning Prevention Checklist:


  1. Inspect your car’s radiator on a regular basis, and have leaks repaired immediately.
  2. Propylene glycol is safe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Look for antifreeze with this ingredient, which can keep your pet safer from ingesting ethylene glycol.
  3. Do not allow your dog to wander where they may have easy access to antifreeze, such as in driveways, garages, and streets
  4. Dispose of used antifreeze containers properly.
  5. Close antifreeze containers tightly, and keep them out of the reach of your dog.
  6. Ensure any antifreeze spills are immediately and thoroughly cleaned.


As you train your puppy, be consistent and firm to ensure that he never licks puddles in general. A well-trained dog who knows not to lick foreign liquids will be better able to resist lapping up antifreeze. 


If your puppy has ingested antifreeze, take him to the vet immediately without delay. It could save his life. It’s also a good idea to keep activated charcoal on hand for instances like this. By giving your puppy activated charcoal to ingest while you hustle him to the vet, you can help his chances of survival. 


KEEP YOUR PUPPY HYDRATED 

A cute Siberian Husky puppy drinks from a blue water bowl outside in the snow to keep hydrated during winter time after playing outside for so long.


Winter weather dehydration is common in dogs of all breeds and ages. Puppies can become dehydrated during the cold, winter months due to the lower humidity level in the air. Indoor air humidity levels can become remarkably low within homes that use wood-burning stoves. As the air dries out, your puppy’s body can dry out as well, causing him to become dehydrated. 


You’ll probably notice that your puppy grows increasingly thirsty throughout the winter. This is nothing to be alarmed about. Continue to make sure he has plenty of fresh water and refill his water bowl if he drinks it down. Your puppy is listening to his body, and this is a good thing! Just plan for more bathroom trips as nature takes its course!


Whenever you play outside with your puppy, whether in the backyard or at the dog park, be sure to provide him with fresh water there, too. Dogs that become thirsty while playing outside in the snow will resort to eating the snow if there isn’t a fresh source of water nearby. This can pose health risks to your puppy since snow is often contaminated with pollutants, toxins, dirt, and ice-melt salt, all of which can make your puppy very sick, as we already covered when we went over “salt sickness.”


KEEP YOUR PUPPY WARM

A funny and slightly overweight Chihuahua stands outside in the winter snow wearing a blue sweater to keep warm.


Canines might seem immune to the wintry elements, but just because wolves featured on the nature channel fare well in the tundra, doesn’t mean your domestic fur baby will be comfortable outside when the temperature is below freezing. 


Depending on the breed of your new puppy, he might be more sensitive to cold weather than you are! When the temperature drops below freezing, many dog breeds become at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Just like humans, when a dog’s body experiences extremely cold temperatures, the blood withdraws from the extremities to surround the vital organs. With minimal circulation to his paws, your puppy can develop frostbite quickly. 


In order to prevent this, dress your puppy in booties and a sweater or coat. If your puppy belongs to a breed that’s especially sensitive to the cold, such as a miniature greyhound or short-haired chihuahua, be mindful to strictly limit the time your puppy spends outdoors. Even a walk around the block could spell trouble for your pooch, and you may need to carry him for part of it to prevent his little paws from getting too cold. 


That being said, some dog breeds were designed for extremely cold weather, such as Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Saint Bernards. These breeds will not need any extra insulation like booties, sweaters, and coats. In fact, if you try to bundle them up, they could overheat and become uncomfortable!  


AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB PUREBRED PUPPIES IN KANSAS CITY

Two beautiful Australian Shepherd puppies run in the snow outside during winter with a forest in the backgroun.


Petland Kansas City sells purebred puppies. Purebred puppies are breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. We provide all paperwork and documentation to substantiate the purebred pedigree of our dogs. Our staff always provides our customers with the pedigree papers as well as requested health and medical records of the puppies they’re considering buying. 


American Kennel Club (AKC) purebred dogs have additional value in that they can be used as breeding dogs for hobby breeders. And they can be entered into dog shows to compete. Ask our knowledgeable pet counselors about all the benefits of owning an American Kennel Club purebred puppy.  


Our most popular AKC purebred dog breeds include:



In addition to AKC purebreds, we also sell hypoallergenic hybrid puppies, such as: 



From everyone at Petland Kansas City, we hope you have a safe and fun winter! If you’re ready for a new puppy, we hope you’ll venture down to our Overland Park, KS, pet store location. You can play with our available puppies, pick out some puppy toys, and start your pet parent journey to get you through the snowy months!