Pets in the Winter Weather
Here are some cold weather tips from the Suffolk County SPCA:
Keep pets indoors.
To prevent injury, frostbite and hypothermia/death.
Be alert to frostbite.
Skin can turn red, white or gray and scaly. If you suspect your cat or dog has frostbite, contact your vet.
Keep ID tags on pets.
More pets are lost in the winter than any other time of the year. Pets lose their ability to scent their way home in snow and ice conditions.
Always walk dogs on a leash.
Dogs can become disoriented or lost. Roads are often dangerous in snow conditions with snow plow piles and ice.
Be aware of sheltered cats and wildlife:
Outdoor cats and other animals will often seek shelter beneath the hood of a car and can be killed by fans or belts. Please bang on the hood or blow your horn before starting the car.
Never leave pets in the car.
Not for any length of time. Hypothermia and freezing are common in winter.
Be aware of exposure time.
Dogs who are ill, old, very young or short-haired cannot endure prolonged exposure to winter weather. Take them out only to relieve themselves. Coats or sweaters can help avoid problems for dogs who like to play in the snow.
Keep pets dry.
Never take your dog or cat out after a bath unless they are 100% dry.
Have a clean up routine.
Keep a towel and maybe moist wipes by the door to clean dog’s feet of salt, anti-freeze, and other harmful toxins.
Road salt can irritate or burn, as well as cause vomiting and in some pets, cause seizures. Antifreeze has a sweet, attractive smell to pets and can be deadly if ingested. Keep paws, belly and legs clean to avoid problems.
Keep pets warm
Always keep beds slightly elevated and away from cold drafts.
Keep pets safe from fire
If using a fireplace or wood stove, put a protective barrier or fire screen to prevent burns.
Never use a space heater if you own pets. Pets can chew on the cord and be electrocuted. Pets can knock over or land on the space heater resulting in burns or worse, set fire to the home.