Cold Weather Tips for Cats & Dogs

Winter-birdAnimals like humans are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, so limit their outdoor exposure when the temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep Toxic antifreeze out of reach
Anti freeze is deadly to animals and children. And for outdoor cats who, like dogs and other animals find its taste irresistible, antifreeze is poison.  As little as a teaspoon of auto antifreeze spilled in your driveway can be fatal for a cat or dog, so keep antifreeze out of reach and promptly clean up any spills.

Never use salt or chemical melting products.
When you’re cleaning off that snow-covered walkway, avoid salt or chemical ice-melters. These products can be toxic to animals and harmful to cat’s natural snowshoes-their paws! Tender pads can be injured by salts and other ice-melting chemicals, as well as cause gastrointestinal upset when animals lick their paws clean. Wipe your pet’s paws when they come in from the outside.

Always check under the hood.
Outdoor cats like to curl up in warm engines and under cars during cold days.  Check between your tires and honk your horn or bang the hood before you start the engine to scare sleeping cats away; especially if you are feeding a stray cat in your neighborhood.

Build a shelter for an outdoor cat.
Feral cats are always more comfortable in their outdoor homes. Even in winter, NEVER take them to a city or town animal shelter, where only three out of ten cats make it out alive, and nearly all feral cats are killed.  Instead, keep your community feral cats warm this holiday by building them a shelter.  It’s easy: visit www.alleycat.org/BuildAShelter to discover how.

Outdoor accommodations for pets that must be outdoors.
Indoor accommodations are best during cold weather; but if your pet must be outdoors make sure they have a draft free insulated shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. Make sure they have warm bedding like straw to lay down on. Pets are not able to get enough water from licking snow or ice, so provide clean water as often as necessary to keep it from freezing. Heated bowls are wonderful for preventing water from freezing.


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