Protect your Pet from Cold Weather Hazards

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  • Keep your pets’ coats well groomed. Matted fur won’t protect them from the cold.
  • Never let your pets run free outside, especially during a snowstorm. They can lose their scent and easily become lost. Make sure they are always wearing ID tags and consider getting microchip identification implants for an extra measure of protection.
  • Check your garage and driveway for antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that attracts animals and children. Wipe up any spills right away.
  • Never leave a pet alone in a parked car. A car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  • If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on your car or tractor hood, or honk the horn before starting the engine. In their search to keep warm, outdoor cats often take refuge next to a warm engine or tire.
  • If your dogs must be outside, it is imperative that they be protected by a dry, draftfree doghouse that is large enough to permit them to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in body heat.
  • For health and safety reasons, cats should always be kept indoors. But if you do have cats that live outside, make sure that they have access to warm shelter at all times.
  • Dogs and cats that spend a lot of time outdoors need plenty of fresh water available. They can’t burn calories without water, and if they can’t burn calories, they can’t keep warm. Use a tip-resistant, ceramic or hard plastic water bowl rather than a metal one; when the temperature is low, a pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
  • Be sure all outdoor animals have access to a heated water supply. Water tanks often freeze during cold weather and some animals can’t break through the ice to get to the water.