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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cold weather safety tips for pets

Cool temperatures mean more outdoor activities with our pets, but also present dangers we need to prepare for to help keep our furry friends safe this winter.  To ensure your pets enjoy the cooler temperatures, follow these tips to provide them the extra special care they need to stay healthy and happy this winter.  When in doubt as to the specific needs of your pet to support its health during colder weather, contact your veterinarian.
  1. Sweaters are not just a fashion statement. If you are cold, your pet is likely cold, especially if your pet is older, very young or is ill. Certain breeds are also more vulnerable in  cold temperatures. 
  2. Heating pads and electric blankets do not mix with fur.  Whether your pet has hair or fur, heating pads and electric blankets are not the way to keep your pet warm.  Electric heating devices are not safe to have pets sit or lay on or near.
  3. Pets belong indoors during cold weather.  If you have pets that are indoor/ outdoor, be certain they have a warm, dry, insulated elevated dog house with dry bedding and a flap to keep out wind, water and drafts.  Better yet, allow the pets access to the house through a dog door or open door into the garage.
  4. Warm vehicles attract cats.  Even if you do not have a cat, your neighbor may, so honk your horn or bang on the hood a few times and then wait a few moments before starting the engine to startle any cats that may have crawled by the radiator or tires for warmth.
  5. Antifreeze helps your car but not your pets.  Antifreeze attracts pets but is toxic and can be deadly when ingested.  Keep antifreeze containers closed and in a place inaccessible to pets—like a high shelf or storage closet.  Make certain to mop any spills and wash out funnels used to pour antifreeze into your car.
  6. Food amounts vary during the winter.  If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, he may require more food to produce more body heat.  Whereas, if you have an indoor pet that is less active during the winter, less calorie intake may be in order.  Talk to your veterinarian to determine how to best adjust your pet’s winter diet.

As during all times of the year, ensure your pet is returned to you safely if he gets lost by having a collar with appropriate tags as well as microchipping your pet.  If your pet does get lost, do the following:

Look for your pet at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and the Humane Society. File a missing pet report and look for your pet on Pet Harbor.

Call Missing Mutts, Cats, etc. at (480) 898-8914 and call Arizona PetLine at (602) 252-2727.

Blog by Toni Eberhardt 

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