Winter Safety Tips
Follow these tips to keep cats and dogs safe and comfortable
Keep pets indoors and warm if possible.
Don’t leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Dogs and cats are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. During
walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater.
No matter what the temperature is, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they are outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.
Take precautions if your dog 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 house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Give your pets plenty of 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 rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
Be careful with cats and cars
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring to 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 store 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, write the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible about the situation. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then call Animal Control 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.
The best tip of all: keep your pets with you
Probably the best prescription for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. If the house is not an option try your garage or carport. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.
These are some ideas to keep your outdoor cats and dogs warm during our winter months. They are very inexpensive and you might already have them in your home or garage.
Spay & Neuter Fund
McCracken County Humane Society, Inc.
A Legacy of Love Spay & Neuter Fund has been set up to further our commitment to spay & neuter all animals before adoption. Our goal is to make a difference in the over-population of cats and dogs. With this fund we can offer low cost surgeries and education to those in need.
If you would like to donate and be a part of this project,
McCracken County Humane Society, Inc.
please call 270-443-5923, Click Here, or mail check to:
4000 Coleman Road
Paducah, Ky. 42001