Connersville Veterinary Clinic

808 East County Road 250S
Connersville, IN 47331



Winter Weather Care Tips for you and your Pets





Antifreeze is known to have a sweet smell and taste.  This is very attractive to both cats and dogs.  This product is usually used more going into the winter months because everyone tends to change theirs before the weather gets too cold.  It literally takes only 2 Tablespoons to be lethal to a dog.  This means that even a couple licks by a cat and it can be fatal.

Signs and Symptoms of Antifreeze Poisoning

- Depression
- Vomiting
- Increased Water Consumption
- Stumbling
- Anorexia
- Seizures

The chemical in antifreeze that causes it to be so toxic to our pets is called Ethylene Glycol.  This causes Kidney Damage almost immediately after consumption.  There are ways that we can attempt to treat antifreeze consumption.. The prognosis will depend on how quickly treatment began after the antifreeze was consumed. 

The most important thing you can do is to prevent your pet from coming in contact with antifreeze.  

- Keep any antifreeze in your home sealed and in a high cabinet
- Make sure all vehicles you own do not leak antifreeze
- Clean any antifreeze spills thoroughly
- Do not allow your pets to drink out of puddles
- Do not let your animal roam, this will potentially expose them to antifreeze

As we get into the dead of winter, one of the items we use without much though it Ice Melt.  What we dont realize is that this product can be extremely dangerous for our furry friends!  If you put ice melt down in an area that your pet frequents, or if you take your pet on a walk, it is very important to clean your pets paws.  The main ingredient in most Ice Melt products is either sodium chloride or calcium chloride.  Both of these ingredients can not only irritate your pets paws, but they can also be harmful if ingested.  If your pet does ingest any of these products, you may notice vomiting and diarrhea.  One of the best things that you can do is keep your pets from eating snow or drinking from any puddles.

A dog that ingests 4g (less than 1 oz) of sodium chloride per 1kg (2.3lbs) of body weight could die.  For example... a 4lb dog would only need to ingest about 2oz of sodium chloride for it to be fatal.

Safe Paw Ice Melt and Morton Safe-T-Pet Ice Melt are 2 products that are a bit more safe for your furry friends.Although they offer more safety we still highly suggest making sure you wipe your pets paws off.


We highly suggest keeping your pets indoors at all times, but especially during the winter.  Pets are sensitive to severe cold and they are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold spells.  The exposed skin on their noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

If for some reason your pet is outdoors for most of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to sit and lie down but small enough to hold in their body heat.  The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with straw or bedding.  The doorway should also be covered with a waterproof cover in case of sleet, rain or snow.  

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes more energy.  It is important to check your pets water routinely to make certain that it is fresh and not frozen.  We recommend using plastic bowls for their food and water.  When temperatures are low your pets tongue can stick and freeze to metal bowls.

During the winter months, warm engines on parked cars attract cats.  They may climb up under the hood to stay warm.  To avoid injury we suggest banging on the hood of your car or honking your horn before starting your car.

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