LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Louisville veterinarian Dr. James T. Grace of Cherokee Animal Clinic and Audubon Animal Medical Center warns pet owners about the dangers cold weather poses for pets. He urges pet owners to provide proper shelter for pets during cold weather and to consider pet boarding at the medical center if they are going to be out of town without their pets for any length of time. According to Dr. Grace, cases of hypothermia, frost bite and even death have struck Louisville pets this winter. Although spring is coming, Dr. Grace reminds people that cold weather poses dangers at least through Derby day.
"It's been a harsh winter," says Dr. Grace. "A lot of people assume that since their pets have fur coats, they can stay outside for long periods of time. But a pet's ears, nose, tail and paws are particularly vulnerable to cold and can quickly get frostbitten in frigid temperatures. In fact, pets can be a lot more sensitive to cold than humans—providing proper shelter for pets in the cold can literally save their lives."
The Louisville veterinarian has several recommendations for protecting pets from the cold. He says indoor pets should stay indoors and spend only brief periods of time outside to "take care of business." If indoor pets need to be outside longer, Dr. Grace urges pet owners to procure snug-fitting coats or sweaters for their pets. Coats that have good neck protection or hats to cover the ears are also a good idea, he adds.
In addition to the cold itself, Dr. Grace says that several chemical dangers increase for pets during cold weather. "Snow melt chemicals and salts used on roads and sidewalks can hurt pets' paws. Make sure to wash your pets paws off thoroughly right after you bring them in, or get them booties to wear when outside." He also warns that puddles of antifreeze or windshield wiper fluid on driveways, garage floors and parking areas should be cleaned up quickly. These substances are highly toxic. "Pets think these fluids smell and taste yummy, but even a lick can cause kidney failure and death."
Dr. Grace says that proper shelter for pets in cold weather extends to outdoor pets. "If you have an outdoor pet, make sure their shelter is warm, well insulated, dry, and that they have plenty of unfrozen, fresh water to drink. Dehydration is pretty common for outdoor pets in the winter, so check their water several times a day." He adds that outdoor pet owners should consider pet boarding to keep their pets safe during cold weather if the family plans to be gone for a while.
Dr. James T. Grace is the chief veterinarian at Cherokee Animal Clinic and Audubon Animal Medical Center, full-service animal hospitals offering wellness care, pet surgery, pet boarding, and grooming services.
Audubon Animal Medical Center 1-888-667-5235