Wednesday, 12 December 2012 15:50
Here are a few tips from Spay & Neuter Kansas City to keep your pets safe this winter.
- If at all possible, for the overall health of your pet, keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who spend more time with their owners and are exercised but kept inside the rest of the time.
- If your dog’s stay outside, you MUST provide adequate shelter. Winter weather can be extremely dangerous for pets if they do not have a warm place to go. Adequate shelter is a well-insulated dog house, with straw to keep them warm. Cats must have access to warm shelter as well and can suffer from frost bite quickly.
- No matter how well-insulated the shelter they have access to, animals can still suffer from cold-related problems if they are too cold for too long. Many pets suffer from hypothermia; they become very lethargic and don’t move around much. If you notice these signs, take the animal to the veterinarian. If hypothermia gets a chance to really set in, the pet could die.
- Frost bite is another serious risk to pets in cold weather and. Frostbite is due to long exposure to extreme cold. The ears and feet of the animal have the greatest chance of being frost bit. These areas will be very cold and swollen and is very painful for the animal. If you suspect the pet has frost bite, take it to the veterinarian.
- Always check your pets’ feet when they come in from the snow. Sometimes, they have snow in the fur surrounding their feet or they can actually cut their feet on the ice. If salts or chemicals have been used where your pet walks, wash your pets feet immediately with a damp towel.
- Outdoor pets use calories to generate heat in the wintertime. Outdoor pets will require at least 25% more calories to generate heat to keep warm. If your pet is primarily outdoors, ask your veterinarian about increasing your pet’s calorie intake during the winter season.
- Pets need access to fresh water daily. Water freezes very quickly in cold weather so it’s very important to put out warm water a few times a day to keep it from freezing. 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 a cold metal.
- Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which 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.
- 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.
Spay & Neuter Kansas City’s Outreach Program helps needy pets in our community all-year-round. Please support keeping animals in their homes with the owners who love them by making a small contribution today. Our program assists pet owners who are in financial need but providing a loving home to a once unwanted pet. Your support will help spay neuter, provide basic pet supplies or pet food to a needy pet.
Thank you for your support. Donate today!