The winter months can be a dangerous time for your Labradoodle. Snow, ice, and cold-weather chemicals can create unsafe conditions for our beloved pets. However, you and your Labradoodle can still enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months. In December, we covered some safety tips for cold-weather outings. Here we will go over some additional tips you can use to protect your pets from hazardous cold-weather chemicals.
One of the most dangerous cold-weather chemicals is antifreeze. Ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze, is highly toxic. Even a small amount can make your pet very sick. In fact, 5 tablespoons of antifreeze can kill a medium-sized dog.
Unfortunately, antifreeze has a sweet taste that appeals to animals. Pets will drink antifreeze from open containers or lick it off the ground. Even a car that leaks a small amount of antifreeze in the garage, driveway, or street can be a potential source of poisoning. Protect your Labradoodle by keeping antifreeze in tightly closed containers and cleaning up spills promptly.
Rock Salt and Chemical Deicers
It’s important to remember that rock salt and chemical deicers can be dangerous to pets. Unpurified rock salt contains traces of toxic heavy metals, such as mercury and lead. Additionally, it’s often mixed with a toxic anti-caking agent called ferrocyandie. Chemical deicers may contain a variety of toxins that can be harmful to your Labradoodle. Licking or swallowing these substances can result in digestive upset or vomiting.
When dealing with icy conditions, try using kitty litter or sand to gain traction. If you must use rock salt or chemical deicers, prevent your pet from entering those areas. Remember that snow and ice in an urban setting may be filled with unknown toxins. Never allow your Labradoodle to eat dirty snow or drink from puddles near the side of the road.
Cleanup After Winter Outings
Your Labradoodle’s paw pads a very resilient. However, dogs can still absorb harmful chemicals through their paws. Dogs may also lick their paws and swallow hazardous chemicals after spending time outdoors. Being a fuzz-butt mom, I always keep a container of baby wipes near the door at all times. It’s important to wipe your Labradoodle’s paws thoroughly after every winter outing.
Booties can protect your Labradoodle from icy conditions and dangerous cold-weather chemicals. Many dogs do not like wearing booties at first. Use plenty of positive reinforcement and allow your Labradoodle to get used to the booties gradually over time.
Know the Signs of Poisoning
We do everything we can to protect our pets. Despite our best efforts, accidents can still happen. The signs of poisoning may include restlessness, depression, lethargy, excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you think your Labradoodle has been exposed to a dangerous chemical, don’t wait! Contact a veterinarian immediately. The sooner your pet receives treatment, the better their chances of survival.