Spring into Action with Pet Safe Cleaning Tips from OVRS!

The warmer temperatures of spring bring thoughts of backyard barbecues, long walks in the park, and spring cleaning! Cleaning of any sort is a special challenge for pet owners, who not only have extra to clean (shedding fur, grimy food bowls, muddy paw prints, and smelly litter boxes for starters), but who also have to keep the safety of their furry friends in mind at the same time.

The health of your sweet pet is our top priority at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, so consider the following pet safe cleaning tips our gift to you!

The Importance of Pet Safe Cleaning

Using your favorite commercial cleaner in the bathroom or to mop the kitchen floor may not seem like a big deal, but ingredients commonly found in cleaning products, such as alcohol, ammonia, organic solvents, and phenols, can have serious implications for pets. Not only are pets physically smaller than humans, they use their mouths to groom themselves and explore their worlds, making the chances of coming into contact with a cleaning product that much greater.
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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Cold Weather Safety For Pets

OVRS_iStock_000049416582_LargeIt may be an El Nino year, but that doesn’t mean it will be warm in Michigan this winter. Cold weather can pose serious risks to your pet’s health and safety. We offer you a list of practical ways you can keep your pets safe and comfortable all winter long.   

Cold Weather Safety Tips

  • Stay home – Pets are not much safer in a cold car than they are in a warm one. Hypothermia is deadly and pets are just as susceptible to it as humans.
  • Stay in – Dogs and cats should not be outside for prolonged periods in the cold. It’s a myth that animals are more resistant to cold than humans; the reality is that our pets can suffer the harmful effects of cold weather just as easily as we can.
  • If you must leave pets outside – Provide a warm, dry shelter with plenty of cozy bedding. Puppies and older dogs are more sensitive to the cold so it would be better to take them outside only to relieve themselves. Shovel out a spot if there’s deep snow.
  • Paw protection – Be aware of your dog’s paw pads while walking as snow and ice can damage the pads or make walking difficult. Clip the fur between toe pads to reduce the amount of snow collecting between the toes. Or spray the pads with cooking spray just before your walk in very cold weather.

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Winter Weather Warnings for Your Pet

 

Winter has arrived, and with its entrance comes a whole new set of concerns for taking care of your pets.  While it’s true that they wear fur coats all of the time, animals can still suffer from weather-related injury and illness.

It’s best to keep your pet indoors during the coldest part of the year, if possible.  Cats especially can freeze to death, or they are killed while trying to find warmth, such as under the hood of a car.  If you do keep an animal outdoors, be sure that it has adequate shelter out of the wind and moisture.  Also make sure that it has access to fresh, non-frozen water at all times.  Animals that are trying to keep warm outdoors will also need extra calories to do so.

Never shave a pet that will be spending any time outdoors.  Short-haired animals may even benefit from wearing a sweater or coat when outside.  Very young and very old animals will have a lesser ability to keep themselves warm and should spend limited time in the cold.

Inside or out, be sure that your pet has a warm, comfy place to snuggle up.  Tiled or uncarpeted areas are often chilly!  Also, take care around space heaters and fireplaces, which can be a hazard for cold or curious pets.

Wipe your pet down after it comes in from the outdoors to remove any moisture or harmful chemicals, such as antifreeze, or rock salt from its coat and paws.  You should pay close attention to your pet’s paws as they may become chapped or even cut on icy, uneven ground.  Animals that have long hair in between their paw pads may need to have the area trimmed to prevent ice and snow from accumulating.

Overall, it is probably best to keep your pet indoors as much as possible during cold snaps.  Pets can suffer frostbite and hypothermia just as people can.  Long, unsupervised time outdoors increases the likelihood of these things occurring.  Play it safe and keep your pet warm this winter!