January 02, 2019 Pet Safety Responsible Pet Ownership

Winter Pet Hazards in Your Home

A dog looks at snow out of a window

Winter Pet Hazards in Your Home

Inclement weather brings all kinds of outdoor hazards for your pet: ice melt, toxic antifreeze on the street and stray voltage from corroded electrical wires.

Although your home is a seemingly safe and snug respite from the cold, indoor hazards abound. Safeguard your pets against them.

Cool it off

Anyone who has lived in an overheated New York City apartment knows opening the windows in January is required to keep the inhabitants of the apartment from overheating. The problem with that solution is lack of window screens in many New York City apartments. Open, screen-less windows put pets at risk for high rise syndrome.

Turn up the heat

Not every home is warm enough during the winter and even the toastiest of homes rapidly becomes cold if your heat goes out during a winter storm provoked power outage. Sources of heat keep everyone comfortable, but they can also be hazardous. Pets can easily tip space heaters over and start a fire, or worse, burn themselves if they get too close. Fireplaces create a cozy wintertime ambiance, but like space heaters, an open fire can shoot sparks which can burn your pet or ignite their fur. Steam pipes must be covered with pipe insulation to protect pets and humans from inadvertent burns.

Indoor air quality

To keep out the inclement weather, we keep our homes shut tight in the winter. Indoor air quality can suffer. This serves as a reminder for you to check the batteries in both your smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor. Just like humans, pets are susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning which is more common in the winter because of faulty heating and fireplaces. A recent article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association described a serious respiratory condition in three kittens caused by an ozone generating air purifier. High levels of ozone were suspected to be the culprit since the ozone air purifier was set for a room much larger than the room where the kittens were confined. Happily, all three kittens recovered, but carefully read all the directions on any air purifiers being used around pets.

Coping with the cold

If the heat goes out in your house or apartment, your pet in its fur coat will cope better than you will. Put on their coat or sweater to keep them comfortable inside. To help your pet stay warm while they are sleeping, put a cozy blanket in their carrier or crate and then cover it with another blanket to protect against a cold draft. Their body heat should be able to keep them warm inside the insulated carrier. If possible, give them a warm meal rather than cold food from the cabinet. If it is too cold for you inside, then book a room at the nearest pet friendly hotel!

Stay warm, keep safe and protect your pets against outdoor AND indoor cold weather hazards.

Tags: pet safety, winter,

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