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Keeping Animals Safe In Freezing Temperatures
MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- Winter is in full swing and as the degrees drop to sub-zero temperatures the biggest thing to remember is that if it is too cold for you to be outside then it is too cold for your pets. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton recommends all animals should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months to protect them from the harsh and bitterly cold elements. If your animals must stay outdoors, then they need to have proper shelter to protect them from the cold.
If you have witnessed any animal that has been outdoors for an extended period of time and who is not protected from the winter chill please call the Humane Societys cruelty/neglect hotline at (855) PETS-911 or (855) 738-7911. For all dogs left outdoors, you can also call the Animal Resource Center at (937) 898-4457. Lets work together to keep all of our pets safe and warm this winter season!
Keep Your Pets Safe in the Cold
Winter brings with it bitterly cold air, rain, sleet and snow. All of these weather conditions can take a toll on your pets skin and paws. In fact, it can cause chapped or itchy paws and flaky dry skin. In addition to the discomfort your pet may face due to the weather. To keep your pets paws and skin safe from the winter elements, follow our simple set of guidelines.
1. Battle Cold Weather
Take pets inside with the exception of periods of exercise. This will protect them from the winter elements. Consider dressing your pet in a sweater or coat for outdoor activities. This will help them retain their body heat and will also prevent their skin from drying out. Whenever your pets go outdoors, you need to also protect their paws as much as possible. Booties can help lower your pets exposure to painful salt crystals and other ice-melting elements. If booties arent an option, try rubbing petroleum jelly into the pads of your pets paws before you go out. This will protect your pet from salts and other chemicals. When you bring them indoors wipe off their paws with a dry towel immediately, making sure to pay attention to between their toes.
2. Provide Shelter
If your pet must be outdoors, provide them with well-equipped shelter. You want shelter that is dry, draft-free and large enough for your pet to turn around, sit and lie down comfortably.
3. Keep Pets Nourished
Did you know that in the winter months pets tend to use more energy to stay warm. Make sure to feed your pets a little more food during the winter and give them plenty of water. This will help them produce the energy they need to stay warmer and will keep them hydrated, which will help moisturize their skin. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.
4. Bang Car Hood
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which may crawl up under the hood for warmth. To avoid injuring animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
5. Groom Your Pets
Animals with longer coats tend to have issues with salt crystals, snow balls or even de-icing chemicals clinging to their fur, which can dry your pets skin out. Keep fur trimmed to stop some of this from collecting on your pet. Dont forget to also clip the hair between their paws. By also brushing your pet frequently, you can stimulate blood circulation, which improves your pets overall skin condition. You do however want to also limit the number of baths you give your pets during the winter months. Washing too often can remove the essential oils your pets need to keep their skin healthy. Your vet can recommend a good moisturizing shampoo or rinse for you to use on your pets to help their skin.
6. Avoid Salt and Chemicals
Keep paws free of salt and other winter chemicals. The salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his or her mouth, too.
7. Keep Antifreeze Out of Reach.
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze where it cannot be accessed by pets.
The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 111 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.
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