Cold Weather Pet Safety

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below….

boydogWith all the cold weather this time of year, the emergency veterinarians of MedVet Chicago have recommended a few cold weather safety tips for your pets:

Freezing Temperatures:
If it is too cold for you to be outside, it is too cold for you pet. Be mindful of the amount of time your pet spends outside during the cold winter months. Exposure to freezing temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, even after a short period of time. Provide small dogs or those with thin hair a coat or sweater if going outside.

Walks/Potty Breaks:
If letting your pet out into the yard for a potty break, it is always best to stand by the door and call them back inside immediately after they’ve finished. Standing by the door until your pet is ready to come back inside can limit the risk of be¬coming distracted by something else going on inside the house and accidentally leaving them out in the cold for too long. It is also best to limit the amount of time spent on walks during the cold winter months in order to avoid over-exposure to frigid temperatures. Walks should be just long enough for your pet to use the restroom.

Cold Weather Chemicals:
Common chemicals used during the winter months can be hazardous to pets. This includes many anti-freeze formulas, as well as rock salt that is typically sprinkled onto sidewalks to melt ice and snow. Extreme caution should be used when storing anti-freeze, as many formulas contain ethylene glycol, which can be deadly if consumed by a pet. Although rock salt is not typically deadly, it can cause burning and irritation if in contact with a pet’s paws, in addition to stomach irritation if licked from the paws and swallowed. A simple solution for avoiding contact with rock salt is to purchase pet booties for your pet to wear when outdoors. Wearing the booties will also aid in keeping your pets feet dry and warm.

Coats and Clothes:
If providing your pet with a coat or sweater for the winter weather, waterproof is always best. When outside in the winter months, there is always a chance that your pet may come into contact with ice, snow or slush, which can saturate a non-waterproof clothing item. A cold, wet piece of clothing can end up doing more harm than good.

Warming Devices:
Pets should never be left unattended around warming/heating devices, such as space heaters, electric blankets or open flames. If a pet is cold, they may get too close to the warming device, which can put them at risk for burns or potential further damage if the device is knocked over.

What to do in a Pet Emergency
If a pet is experiencing a medical emergency, pet owners are encouraged to immediately contact their family veterinarian or MedVet Chicago for guidance and help. MedVet Chicago can be reached 24-hours a day, every day of the year, by calling (773) 281-7110 or in-person at 3123 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60618.

About MedVet Chicago
MedVet Chicago (formerly Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center) is a 24-hour emergency, critical care and specialty animal hospital which is part of the MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets patient care family. MedVet is employee owned, veterinary led, and is leading specialty healthcare for pets. MedVet provides specialty referral services for in-depth care and patient management, as well as emergency services, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More than 100,000 dogs and cats are treated annually at MedVet’s expanding network of medical centers across the country.

Top 5 Ways To Weather Winter Storms

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jogsnowFebruary started off with a winter storm that delivered hazardous driving conditions and frigid temperatures from Kansas to Michigan; dumping 20 inches of snow in some areas before setting its sights on the snow-weary Northeast, The Weather Channel reports.

The latest round of snow is a sure sign the 2015 Blizzard season is underway and homeowners need to prepare for even more winter weather in the coming weeks. Staying safe during a winter storm requires common sense as well as preparation.

Don’t Get Buried – Prepare Early

While people rush to hardware and grocery stores after hearing a forecast for a winter storm, there is no need to wait until the last minute. It’s a good idea to pick up last-minute essentials such as food, but preparing for the winter storm season requires being ready for every snow event, not just the big one.

1. Prepare for power failures: Stock up on batteries for flashlights and small lanterns. Also keep candles on hand as they provide light and some heat.

2. Keep out the cold: Add insulation to water pipes to prevent freezing in a power outage. Increasing attic insulation and investing in new windows also helps keep warm air in and cold air out.

3. Be ready to stay indoors: February often means spending increased time indoors. With the continued heating of the home, dry air can become a problem that leads to decreased comfort, health issues and damage to the home. Humidifiers are the most effective way to add moisture to a home’s air.

4. Inspect your car: Maintaining tires and batteries are two of the best investments commuters can make in the winter. An engine that is slow to turnover is a major sign a battery is failing. However, a battery should be replaced or inspected after 3 years even if it appears to be working fine, according to Firestone. To check tire condition, use the penny test. Simply place a penny in the tread and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new set of all-season tires.

5. Shop before the snow arrives: Even in northern parts of the country, homeowners often wait until a winter storm hits to check the snow blower or replace last year’s broken shovel. Purchasing or repairing these items early in the season can keep a family a step ahead when hazardous weather arrives, since stores struggle to keep these items on the shelf during a blizzard.

Winterizing a home and car can reduce the impact of the winter storms that are sure to continue throughout February. Don’t leave safety and comfort at the mercy of Mother Nature this year, prepare today.

About Aprilaire:

We have been a brand leader in IAQ for more than 60 years, delivering a wide range of whole-home systems that improve comfort, health and energy efficiency. Our brand products are sold through and installed by HVAC contractors across the United States and Canada. Visit to learn more about whole-house air cleaners and total comfort solutions to purity, humidity, freshness and temperature. Find us on Facebook at

8 Skin Survival Tips For Cold Weather

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By Michelle Day

WomanCreamAs the seasons change and we move into colder weather, our skin can take a beating. A sudden weather change alone can be enough to cause an outbreak, but factor in a cold, dry environment and you could be in for some serious suffering. Changes in humidity combined with brisk weather can suck the moisture from your skin and worsen conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Here are some small changes you can make prevent a flare-up:

1. Moisturize daily – Moisturizing is key to preventing eczema and psoriasis outbreaks. Use thicker creams instead of lotions. Try applying all-natural moisturizers like olive or coconut oil to the skin. Stay away from creams containing fragrances and harsh chemical additives.

2. Take extra precaution bathing – Be careful not to bathe in very hot water. Take showers rather than soaking in bathtubs. This can strip the skin of its natural oils, resulting in excessive dry skin. Avoid any cleansers containing sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate that can irritate skin.

3. Monitor your home environment – Though running the heater sounds like a great way to keep warm in the cold weather season, it can substantially dry out your skin even more. Run the heat only when necessary and try using a humidifier to keep the moisture in your home.

4. Don’t scratch – This is a bit of a no-brainer, but a very important practice. Though you will feel the intense need to scratch that itch, try your best not to. Scratching the skin will only make it worse. If the itching is unbearable, apply a mild topical hydrocortisone ointment to the area.

5. Wear soft fabrics – Scratchy fabrics like wool may not be the best option to stay warm when you already have itchy skin. Wearing rough fabrics could potentially set off an outbreak or irritate your skin further. Try to stick to soft, breathable fabrics for comfort.

6. Take supplements – Try taking fish oil capsules to help maintain your skin’s moisture from the inside out. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, taking fish oil regularly can also help reduce inflammation caused by eczema.

7. Hydrate your body – Drinking water can provide almost instant repair for your skin. Aim to drink eight cups of water or more every day. Keeping your body well hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin, especially in dry weather when your skin needs it the most.

8. Minimize the stress – The stress of the upcoming holiday season can wreak havoc on your skin. Try taking a meditation break or 10 minute walks throughout your day to monitor the stress you may be feeling.

Eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions that are affected by cold, dry weather can be very painful and frustrating. By making these simple changes, you can prepare your skin for the upcoming transition into fall and winter weather.

– Michelle Day is a writer and web strategist who takes special interest in healthy living and lifestyle. As a skin wellness enthusiast, she is also the lead copywriter for Forefront Dermatology, which specializes in expert skin treatment and management in the Michigan area.

RadioMD Warns That Colder Weather Brings Greater Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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healthywordsAs the weather starts to get colder, there are a whole new set of circumstances and potential hidden dangers which could send you or a loved one to the emergency room, according to. Dr. Leigh Vinocur, MD, an emergency physician and host of’s ”ER-101”.

“Once furnaces, space heaters, and fireplaces are in full use, it poses potential risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning and fires,” according to Dr. Vinocur, whose show helps people manage their health and wellness before an emergency occurs. The American College of Emergency Physicians is a resource for the show.

As a guest on ER-101, David W. Ross, DO, FACEP noted that during this time of year, his emergency room sees an increase in people with burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless so it’s hard to detect. Often, a family or several co-workers exhibit flu symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue, but these often are indications of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home or office,” suggested Dr. Ross, who has been an emergency physician in Colorado Springs, CO, with the Penrose/St. Francis Healthcare System since 1992.

Dr. Ross also warned that carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when cars are idling and the car’s tailpipe is clogged or not working properly. He advises that a window be opened to allow fumes to escape.

“The other problem we see are burns from candles and faulty space heaters. Replace smoke detector batteries every six months and have an escape plan in your home, especially if your family is sleeping on a second floor,” recommended Dr. Ross. Your local fire department can assist with home safety plans.

ER-101 can be heard on the, and this particular show is in the archive.


– is a “talking” health information source featuring top guests and experts in the world of health and medicine that provide vital health and wellness content in spoken word form. Produced in a talk radio, easy to listen to conversational style, RadioMD shows help listeners understand everyday health issues as well as complex medical conditions. In addition to its variety of live, interactive talk audio features and programming, RadioMD offers an Audio Library of top talk shows on just about every health and wellness, diet & fitness subject. For more information visit

– Submitted by David Brimm

Spring Has Sprung: Asthma And Allergies On The Rise

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By Dr. Barry Zeffren

twokidsunIt is that time of year again: birds are chirping, skies are bluer. The days are getting longer, and the grass is going from the brown and yellow of dormancy to the vibrant green that warmer weather promises. Leaves are emerging on the branches of the trees, and the Westerly Winds blow out the frigid cold air and swoop in with the warm winds and the promise of summer. We daydream about our emergence from our winter cocoons, and make mental checklists of the warm weather activities soon to come:from planning our summer gardens to our impending invitations to Mother’s Day brunches and barbecues. Of course, with all the planning for the beginning of spring, there comes the inevitable spring allergy season.

Because pollen is the most common allergen, cases of hay fever rise dramatically in the spring. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from spring seasonal allergies, and this number is on the rise. Children with parents who suffer from seasonal allergies are over 30% more likely to also develop allergies. And while many of these people who suffer from allergies think they can alleviate the effects allergies have on their lives by sequestering themselves indoors during the spring months, the fact is that indoor air is often 50 times more polluted than outdoor air. For this reason, many allergy sufferers feel they can never escape the misery they are wrought with when it comes to spring allergies.

inhalerSo what causes allergies? It is an autoimmune response in which the body recognizes an otherwise harmless substance as harmful to the body. The results are the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These symptoms can be anywhere from mildly irritating to a debilitating condition which renders sufferers completely at the mercy of the pollen counts. These symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, cough, skin rashes, and in severe cases can result in constricted airways and asthmatic symptoms. For some, the symptoms of seasonal allergies appear as severe skin allergies. Large, scaly, patchy plaques can appear in some skin allergy sufferers. Other skin allergies are prickly rashes which can cause extreme itching, redness, and discomfort.

Treatments for spring allergies and asthma can vary greatly. For mild cases of seasonal allergies, an antihisthamine prior to exposure to allergens can be helpful. Unfortunately, these types of medications can also cause drowsiness, even after regular and prolonged usage. There are a lot of over the counter medications which offer users 24 hour allergy relief. These work by actually blocking histamines (allergy-causing irritants). The medication binds to the histamines in the body, which then block the allergic reaction such as sneezing, itching, or coughing. For severe allergy sufferers, there are also more intense treatment options. Some patients require regular allergy shots during the spring allergy season simply to be able to get out of bed each day. Others require daily inhalers and prescription strength medications in order to get their symptoms under control and more manageable. There are also natural allergy remedies which many users find to be very effective. Yamoa powder has been touted by many users to be a complete cure for allergies and asthma, with most users being completely relieved of allergy symptoms after just four weeks of use.

kidsunningtogetherFor those who suffer from skin allergies during spring allergy season, hydrocortisone creams can be extremely helpful. These types of creams are a corticosteroid preparation which helps to reduce swelling and irritation, as well as relieve itching and redness. For severe cases of skin allergies, which can often result in eczema, more powerful topical steroid creams may be required. These are usually available by prescription, and can be fairly inexpensive. For those who are interested in an all-natural treatment for skin allergies, magnesium oil can be particularly helpful. There are ways to prepare magnesium oils at home, or pre-mixed solutions can be purchased at many different retailers. The magnesium oil is misted directly onto the skin, and has been shown to be highly effective at relieving the symptoms of skin allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.

Spring is almost here. Blue skies and green grass hold the promise of warmer, long, sunny days and sultry evenings. Unfortunately for many allergy sufferers, spring is also the beginning of months of miserable allergy symptoms. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, there are a lot of different ways to treat the cause and the symptoms to make allergy season a lot less miserable.

– This article was written by Dr. Barry Zeffren who is an allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Care Clinic in Granite City IL. To find out more about Dr. Zeffren or the Allergy and Asthma Car Clinic go to