Winter is here and in full-force, with today's temperature dropping well below 0 degrees F. It is very important to keep several things in mind when it gets this cold in order to keep your pets safe.
- Just because your dog and cat have a fur coat does not mean they can withstand prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Yes, some breeds are better suited to handle the cold (Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Norwegian Forest Cats) but it is better to be safe than sorry regarding your pet's safety.
- Take special precautions when your pet needs to go outside. Check out special products like coats, booties, and more for your dog. If you have outdoor cats you cannot bring inside the house or garage look into building shelters for them to provide protection from the elements.
- Provide more food in the winter months for pets that spend a lot of time outside. This will allow them to gain some "protective weight" and will also provide extra "fuel" to help their bodies stay warm.
- Provide extra water and make sure it doesn't freeze! This can be difficult as many do not have access to heated water bowls (which could also provide an additional hazard to pets). But, placing water in a sheltered area near a vent could be enough to keep it from freezing depending on the temps. If this is also not possible simply check the water frequently and break out the ice that forms.
- Check your vehicle's engine! Cats and other small wildlife are attracted to warm car engines and it is possible for them to get under your car's hood. Keep cars parked indoors or make sure to check your engine before starting your car in the morning.
- Wipe of your pets paws when they come in from outside. Salt and other de-icing agents can cause chemical burns or irritate your pet's paw pads.
- Remember: antifreeze is dangerous to pets and animals are attracted to its sweet taste. Clean up any spills immediately and keep it sealed and out of the reach of pets and kids.
It is always ideal, in weather like this, to keep your pet's indoors. We are aware that this is not always possible so please follow the tips above to protect your cats and dogs this time of year. Keep up-to-date on weather changes and warnings from www.Weather.com or one of our local news websites. Contact us for more information or with any questions you may have in regards to your pet's safety and well-being.
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Sarah has been with Lifetime Pet Centers for over 11 years. She has experience working with cats, dogs, exotics and wildlife. She lived in the Lake Tahoe area of California for several years working with dogs that were often injured during winter hikes and skiing accidents.