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Protect Pets From Winter's Hidden Dangers
Date:11/29/2007

Pet Owners Urged to Act Now in Winterizing their Animals and Homes

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Many people think animals' winter coats are enough to shelter them from the cold. But according to the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), pets can be extremely vulnerable in the winter months if they are exposed to cold weather and potentially dangerous elements found in and around their owners' homes. Additionally, as pets vary in size, age, and health status, you need to discuss your pet's individual needs with your veterinarian.

"Cars, antifreeze, heaters and wood stoves can be death traps for animals if pet owners are not careful," said Dr. Jeff Smith, president of the CVMA. "Even inside a house or apartment, though it may be warmer, dangers are present. Anything with an electrical cord or heat source, which may provide extra warmth for humans in the winter, may be dangerous to the average pet."

The CVMA asks that pet owners heed these warnings when it comes to protecting their pets from a cold environment:

o Keep antifreeze away from pets. Dogs and cats like the sweet taste and

smell of the chemical, but ethanol glycol-based antifreeze is highly

poisonous. That's why some states have required that a bittering agent

be added to antifreeze to make it taste unpleasant.

o Bang on your car before starting the engine. Outdoor cats often will

curl up into the wheel wells and engine compartments for warmth and

they could get trapped.

o Don't play near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip in

and drown.

o Protect animals from wood stoves and portable heaters. Cats can jump on

top of them, causing burns to their paws.

o Keep nails clipped. Shorter nails allow for better traction on icy

surfaces.

o Provide plenty of fresh water. Your dog is just as likely to get

dehydrated
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SOURCE California Veterinary Medical Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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