Yearly Archives: 2016

Veterinarian Blog | Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic: Fun Winter Activities : Part I

By Terri Heck BS CVT

Winter is here – perhaps the season most difficult to find activities to entertain our dogs. Walks are still fine but may be limited some by cold weather and slippery conditions. The following is a list of physical and mental tasks geared to the canine. Many of these activities can be enjoyed inside and out. Some may be the right ones for your dog and you. Let breed, structure, age, ability, and safety be your guide – ask your veterinarian for advice.

1. Take a class: Many classes are available for dogs of all sizes, breeds and energy levels. Some examples: Basic and advanced obedience, Rally obedience, Manners, Nosework/Scent, varied dog sports etc.
2. Dog sports: Agility, Lure coursing, Earth dog, Barn hunt, Tracking, Freestyle (dance) etc.
3. New tricks: Picking up your toys and putting them in your toy box (basket or whatever), Targeting (learning vocabulary and indicating on various objects – ball, stuffie, bed etc.) – use your imagination.
4. Massage: Gentle massage in the direction that the hair grows can be very relaxing to dogs.
5. Bubbles: Flavored ones made for dogs – fun to catch, pounce on etc.
6. Interactive toys: Puzzles, treat dispensers etc.
7. Toy on a rope: being pulled by you – prey drive fun!
8. Rotate toys: or have featured toy of the day.
9. Scent work at home: find the hidden toy, treat or person.
10. Scavenger hunt: above all  over the house
11. Walks: Vary the venue (neighborhoods, shopping centers, parks and woods).
12. Digging box: buried toys in untreated pine chips (non-dusty) outside or shredded paper inside.

WH fun winter activities

Looking for more activities you can do with your dog? Check out part two of our Fun Winter Activities suggestions.

Vet Blog | Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic: Cold Weather Safety

It’s starting to feel a lot like winter! So, in addition to the holiday safety tips posted earlier, we would like to remind everyone about potential cold weather hazards to guard against.

One of the most common toxicities seen this time of year is to antifreeze. It has a sweet taste that can attract both dogs and cats, and very small amounts can be lethal. All automotive products should be stored in areas that your pet cannot access, and any spills should be cleaned quickly. There are antifreeze options which are less toxic and are recommended for use in households with pets.

Another common cold weather toxicity is to rat and mouse killers. These products can also be deadly, and can cause a variety of signs including bleeding, weakness, and seizures. Be sure any baits are placed well away from areas your pets frequent or their food storage areas.

Ice melting products can cause irritation to the skin and mouth via direct contact or grooming, or can cause significant illness if ingested. Liquid potpourris are also popular this time of year, and can cause severe damage to the mouth, skin and eyes.

If you think your pet has been exposed to any of these items, please contact our office or the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 or the ASPCA Poison Center at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP.

We at Winding Hill wish everyone a safe and happy 2016!