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Colder Temps! Protect Your Pets

As many of our areas are seeing colder temps, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit some ideas. Pets exposed to temperatures in the low teens or single digits for prolonged periods can get frostbite on their feet or the tips of their ears. Another symptom to be watchful for is lethargy or weakness. If you feel that your pet has been adversely affected by the cold and requires medical care, please contact your veterinarian.

  • Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. If this is not an option, make sure there is a dry shelter available and have warm blankets for your pet.
  • Outdoor pets use more energy to keep warm so they will need more food when it’s cold. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.
  • If your dog stays outside, provide a doghouse with a raised floor that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. Cover the floor with a blanket (but only if the dog will not eat it) or maybe straw or wood shavings if available and make sure the door is turned to face away from the wind.
  • If you're feeding homeless cats, be sure to provide an insulated shelter for them.
  • Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife that may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  • Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can attract animals, but it is toxic to them. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze and other household chemicals out of reach.
  • Provide adequate food and water. Monitor water bowls as they can freeze during cold weather.
  • Consider a sweater for your short-haired dog.
  • Outdoor cats searching for warmth will sometimes crawl underneath the hood of a vehicle. Cats can be injured or even killed when the car is started. Before cranking up your vehicle in the morning, bang on or open the hood of your car so any feline seeking refuge on the engine can get out.