Follow these tips to ensure your pets are safe and comfortable
Keep pets indoors
According to the Humane Society, the best prescription for cold winter weather is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest pets are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.
Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, the winter wind chill can put a pet’s life at risk. Pets are also at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during cold strikes. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and your furry friend could suffer permanent damage.
Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside
If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat.
If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (who are scared of people, and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the cold winter weather as well as food and water. It’s easy to give them a hand.
Give your pets plenty of food and water
Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
Protect paws from salt
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
Avoid antifreeze poisoning
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep