Keeping your pets warm and safe this winter
Winter is here, and we need to pay close attention to the weather and to our pets. Here are some tips to help ensure your pet’s safety this winter season.
Don’t leave pets outside. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. It doesn’t take long for a pet to get frostbite in subfreezing temperatures. When the weather is cold, limit your pet’s time outdoors and find ways to keep him or her active with indoor fun.
When pets go outside, watch for spilled antifreeze. This liquid is poisonous but tastes sweet, so pets are likely to give it a taste. Also, watch out for salt and chemical melting products. Wipe down your pet’s feet carefully when you return inside to ensure no chemicals cling to his or her fur and get ingested.
While outside, don’t let your dog off leash. The snow and cold can mask scents, making it difficult for your dog to find his way home.
Puppies can have more difficulty with house training in the cold. If they have not gotten into the habit of pottying outside, it may be quicker and easier on them – and you – if you paper train them now and ease them into outside pottying when the weather warms.
If you are a caregiver for community unowned cats, make sure they have access to a warm shelter. There are directions on Alley Cat Advocates’ website, that explain how to use a Rubbermaid container to create a warm, wind-proof nest for them to use during the cold season. Outdoor cats need more calories to keep warm in winter, so increase their food, and be sure they have access to clean, unfrozen water.
While on the subject of community cats, tap on your hood or honk your horn before starting your engine on cold days. Outdoor cats sometimes find the engine block of a car warm and will curl up to sleep in your car. Give them warning before you start your engine.
By keeping your pets indoors as much as possible and by providing proper care for community cats, you can help keep animals safe during the winter.