Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather



Keep pets indoors and warm 
The best prescription
for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family.
The happiest dogs are those who 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, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to
severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold
snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer
permanent damage. 
Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside
A dog or cat is happiest
and healthiest when kept indoors. 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. The floor should be raised a few inches off the
ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered
with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. 
Help neighborhood outdoor cats 
If there are outdoor
cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people,
and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they
need protection from the elements 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. 
Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars 
Warm engines in parked
cars attract cats and small wildlife, who 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. 
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 antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants
and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and
family. 
Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold 
If you encounter a pet
left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and
type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic
documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact
your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your
evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when.
Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been
remedied. 
 SOURCE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/protect_pets_winter.html