If temperatures are dropping and snow is in the forecast, Pets & Animals in Distress recommends the following safety tips to keep your pets safe and sound during the winter season:
Never let your dog off leash in snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Canines may lose their scent in winter weather, and can easily become lost. In fact, more dogs are reported lost during this time of the year than any other season, so make you have obtained a pet license and your animal always wearing the license tag.
Provide your animals with a warm place to sleep, far away from drafts and off the floor. Dog and cat beds with a warm blanket or pillow will help keep your pets warm.
Please keep cats inside! Felines who spend time outside can freeze, or become lost or injured. Some outdoor cats seek the warmth under the hoods of cars-so if there are outside cats in your neighborhood remember to bang loudly on the hood of your car and wait a few seconds before starting your vehicle.
Wipe off your dog's legs and belly when they come in from the elements. This will remove any salt, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals that could hurt your dog should they ingest them when licking their paws.
Own a shorthaired breed? Consider getting them a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck that covers the dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath. While this may seem like a luxury, it is a necessity for many dogs.
Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. The animal can freeze to death. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If necessary, paper-train your puppy inside if he appears to be sensitive to the weather.
If your dog spends a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities, increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy.
Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Leave the coat longer for more warmth. When you bathe your dog, completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.
Please remember to think of our special best friends this winter season and to keep them warm.