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From Jim’s Desk–2/5/2010: Winter Health Tips for Our Canine Friends

We still have a good deal of winter left and we want to remind all of our loyal readers of some vital precautions to take to keep our dogs (and cats) healthy. Courtesy of our friends at PetMD, I want to stress the following:
1. Anti-Freeze Spills are Poisonous
*The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills are auto antifreeze spills, which often leak from a car’s radiator. It may taste delicious (it’s kind of sweet to the taste and smells attractive) to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly — even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting “drunk” or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors’ driveways?

2. Salty Solution
*Given the amount of salt and ice-melter we use in a normal winter season, we are accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws — not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet’s paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties. If that’s not possible (I know we could never get our dogs to wear boots–kid’s either, come to think of it…) be sure to at least try to wash and rinse your pets’ feet once they are back indoors. Animals licking their paws with salt or ice-melter on them could be a health hazard. Try to enjoy the rest of the winter….JimV