Winter Tips for Below Freezing Temperatures
Keep your pets indoors during freezing temperatures. If left unattended outdoors they can get frostbite or become disorientated and freeze to death.
If your dog, livestock or any other pet lives outside in a dog house, shed, or barn and can not be taken into your home. provide smaller adequate shelters with increased insulation and doors.
Always remember babies and seniors are more sensitive to extreme temperatures just like humans.
Always remember a fresh water source is vital to sustaining life. Water bowls and troughs will freeze rapidly as the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and require replenishing or breaking of the ice to expose fresh water.
Always increase their feeding amount to provide more needed fueling calories to keep warm.
Always bang the hood of your car before starting the engine. It is very common for cats to seek shelter and the warmth of an engine. When the engine is started it can be injured or killed by the fan belt.
Always wipe your pets feet and undercarriage thoroughly as to avoid rock salt, antifreeze, or other toxic chemicals ingestion.
Always clean up spilled antifreeze (Ethylene glycol) immediately. Pets are attracted to and will ingest it due to its sweet flavor. It is highly lethal to kidneys of all species and causes agonizing death.
– Try to use animal friendly products made with propylene glycol as it is non toxic and works just as well as it’s toxic cousin ethylene glycol.
Never shave your dog or cat during the winter as the hair coat is vital to keeping them warm.
Never bath your pet and take outside before they are 100% completely dry to prevent Hypothermia.
– If you have a short hair breed consider clothing or a properly fitted jacket.
Never let your pet off a leash on snow or ice in a snowstorm/ice storm.
– Pets can lose their scent and become disorientated and get lost. Fact… more pets are lost in the Winter then any other season in the Northeast.
– Active pets are more prone to slipping and injuring their legs or fracturing their teeth
It’s Extremely important to keep your pets and livestock safe and healthy during the winter season. The extreme cold can have adverse effects on your pets or your livestock’s health, so take precautionary measures to prevent undue pain and suffering.
In the event an animal becomes ill as a result of exposure contact a veterinarian immediately as they are highly skilled and trained to deal with these situations.
Dr John J. Charos is a lead Veterinary investigator/ adviser to the SCSPCA and is the CEO for Central Veterinary Associates and its network of animal hospitals.