Make sure your four-legged family members stay safe and warm by following these simple guidelines:
Keep Pets Indoors
The best way to keep your pets safe during the chilly months is to take precautionary measures. The happiest dogs are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the warmth of the home the remainder of time and are not kept outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater.
No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk from frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paws can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.
Plan ahead if your pet will be outside for a lengthy period of time!
A dog or cat is happiest, healthiest and safest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. Allow your pet access to plenty of food and water while you are away and routinely check your pet’s water dish to make sure the water is fresh and unfrozen.
Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold!
If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you’re concerned. Always document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, you can also take pictures as documentation as well. Contact your local animal control agency and present your evidence, take detailed notes regarding whom you speak to and when.
Prevention is the best medicine! Know the signs of Hypothermia and what actions to take should your pet become hypothermic.
Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife who may crawl up under the hood. Avoid injuring any hidden animals by banging on your car’s hood to scare them away, and inspecting on top of tires or any visible areas around your car before starting your engine.
Protect paws from salt
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Whip all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks and irritates their paws even further.
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that animals cannot resist. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach.