Monday, January 7, 2013
Humane Society Tips for Warming Up chilly Dogs (And Cats!)
With cold weather arriving, here are some tips to protect your pet when the mercury dips!
- Provide proper shelter for outdoor dogs. There should be an elevated structure to protect them from the weather. The shelter should have clean, dry bedding materials & should be large enough for the dog to stand up & turn around while being small enough to retain body heat. Pups & older dogs should be kept indoors for the most part!
- Use caution around water...keep pets away from rivers, ponds & lakes as they begin to freeze.
- Keep the hair around paw pads trimmed. This will help keep paws free of ice and snow.
- Check paw pads for small cuts and cracks!
- Clean off paws, legs & stomach to remove salt and chemicals, which can be toxic.
- Check your dogʼs ear, tail and paws for frostbite.
- Dogs spending more time outdoors may need more food...indoor dogs, less food. All of them need an adequate amount of fresh, unfrozen water.
- Shorthair breeds can really use a pet sweater. And if the thermometer dips well below freezing, itʼs too cold for any dog to remain outdoors for extended periods.
- Keep I-D tags updated! More dogs are lost during the winter because they lose their scent due to the ice and snow. Keep them on a leash, especially during storms!
- Clean up anti-freeze spills immediately! Animals love anti-freeze which is deadly!
- Go to the vet for a checkup! Cold weather can make certain conditions worse!
- Keep cats indoors!
- If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting the engine. Outdoor cats attracted to the heat of an engine often sleep under the hood of a car and can be injured or killed when the car starts.
- Never leave a dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. The car becomes a refrigerator and the animal can freeze to death.
- If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed, take him/her outdoors ONLY to relieve him/herself.
Bear in mind, dogs require a month or more to become accustomed to lower winter temperatures. Donʼt treat all dogs alike. While some breeds like Alaskan Malamutes or Huskies may be able to tolerate longer periods outdoors in cold weather, other breeds do not have the same protective coat or tolerance for the elements.