Winter Woes

To protect your pet during the cold winter months, please follow these safety tips:

Keep an eye on the temperature. When it falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need to keep

all of your pets indoors. Shorthaired dogs, cats and puppies should be kept indoors when the

temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Keep your pet’s coat well groomed. Matted fur won’t properly protect your pet from the cold.

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Check your garage and driveway for antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze tastes sweet to

pets, but most brands are very poisonous if consumed and can be fatal. Should your pet ingest

any amount of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately. Consider using a pet-safe antifreeze.

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Regularly check your pet’s water to make sure it isn’t frozen. When your pet is outside, make sure

there is plenty of fresh drinking water available. Animals can’t burn calories without a fresh supply

of water and if they can’t burn calories, they can’t keep warm. Also, use a tip-resistant, ceramic

or hard plastic water bowl rather than a metal one, as your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to

cold metal.

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Use a damp towel to wipe your pet’s feet and underside. Ice-melting chemicals can irritate and

burn the pads of your pet’s feet and will cause serious injury if ingested. Another way to protect

your dog’s feet is to spray the pads of their feet with cooking spray or you can purchase boots for

your pet.

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Provide a dry, draft-free doghouse if you must keep your dog outside for any period of time. It

should be large enough to allow your dog to sit and lay down comfortably, but small enough to

hold in his body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with

cedar shavings or straw. The doghouse should be turned to face away from the wind and the

doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

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Get into the habit of slapping the hood of your vehicle before starting it. In their search to keep

warm outdoors, cats often take refuge next to a warm car engine or tire.

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Keep snow from piling high next to your fence. A packed snowdrift will provide a boost for your

dog to jump over the fence and escape the safe confines of your yard.

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Consider the amount of exercise your dog receives during colder weather. If your dog stays

indoors more, he’s probably getting less exercise and may need less food; however, if your pet is

outside often he may need more food to burn the calories necessary to produce more body

heat.

.. 2003 Dumb Friends League. All Rights Reserved.

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