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Dangers the Elements and Chemicals Pose to Our Pets

by Lori Genstein, I've Got the 'Scoop'!, LLC on January 5, 2014

in Pet Health, Pet Sitting, Pets, The Pet Care Biz

Many dogs love to play in the snow… some prefer not, but they still must go outside.  And whether you have a fenced-in yard or your dog goes for walks, there are some dangers you should be aware of and precautions a pet parent should take.
Below I list the most common threats:

Rock Salt and Ice Melts – I highly recommend those precious paws be protected!!! 


See my blog post about dogs and cats — yes, kitties, too, wearing booties   : )


The chemicals can burn and irritate paws and skin, cause stomach and intestinal upset, if ingested, and burns to the tongue and mouth on contact, from licking their feet and body.

Avoid walking in salted areas, and wash your pet’s feet thoroughly when home.  Check in between each toe!!! I do this for my furry friends after every walk regardless if it’s snowing. : )   There are products such as gels and ointments to apply which are intended to protect the paws; however, most times they actually trap the small particles, become quite challenging to clean, and may cause more harm than help.

Antifreeze – Ethylene glycol, a very sweet-tasting and extremely toxic chemical, is the main ingredient in most antifreeze products.  If ingested, very rapidly, damage to the nervous system and kidneys may occur, if immediate medical intervention is not obtained.

Some companies have changed their formula as a result of a 12-year old boy petitioning via Change.Org for a bitter-tasting and smelling ingredient to be added to deter pets and children. http://www.kansas.com/2012/02/16/2219015/valley-center-boy-12-works-for.html

Frostbite – See my blog post which included an article about frostbite, written by Dr. Ernie Ward:  http://cinnaminson.patch.com/groups/ive-got-the-scoop-on-pets/p/frostbite-in-dogs

Grooming and nail trimming is essential during the wintertime, as any excessively long hair will allow for snow to accumulate on your baby’s fur, especially on their tail, belly, and in between their toes!  If their nails are long, it will cause their toes to spread while walking, allowing a greater chance for snow and ice to accumulate.

Snowbanks and drifts – The snow acts as a stepladder right over the fence for your doggie! See photo above – Photo Credit:  Dr. Garret Pachtinger

Ice – Obvious risk of slip-and-fall injury to you and your pet.   When possible, walk in well-lit areas and avoid wet spots, which may actually be frozen.

Loss of Scent Trail – Please be sure your beloved pet has current ID tags and a microchip with current contact information and photo on file!!!  Many dogs cannot find their way home after it’s snowed due to the inability to pick up and follow familiar scents!

My previous blog on Microchips:  http://cinnaminson.patch.com/groups/ive-got-the-scoop-on-pets/p/your-pet-is-microchipped-thinking-yo…

Be safe and have fun out there… and remember:   AVOID YELLOW SNOW!   : )

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe… and pet parents informed!


I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC, in Palmyra


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna May 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Would you have any information regarding dogs walking on fertilized grass, and with other insecticides? Does or would this cause with the stomach/stools?
Thank you.


Lori Genstein, I've Got the 'Scoop'!, LLC May 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Hi, Donna!

If your dog is experiencing GI upset and/or diarrhea, I highly recommend you contact your vet!

As far as any type of treated grass, whether it’s fertilizer, pesticides, weed killers, etc., my recommendation is to make every attempt to avoid these areas!!! The chemicals are extremely toxic to both humans and pets!!!

With permission of pet parents, I use unscented baby wipes to clean dogs after each walk in an attempt to rid any residues, even those simply blowing in the air.

As a result of dogs licking and cleaning themselves… anything on their fur will be ingested.

If you believe your pet has consumed any type of poison, please contact the following:

Pet PoisonHelpline – 800-213-6680
24/7 Animal Poison Control Center
Have your credit card ready: $39 per incident fee applies

ASPCA Animal Poison Control
Got a Poison Emergency?
(888) 426-4435 24/7
$65 fee may be charged to credit card

Dr. Karen Becker wrote an article re: pets and pesticides… I’ll locate that and post for you.

Thanks for your inquiry… and I hope this was helpful.



Lori Genstein, I've Got the 'Scoop'!, LLC May 28, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Donna, below is a link to Dr. Karen Becker’s article re: Pesticides and Pets:




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