Winter has finally arrived in the Mile High City and with it come beautiful white landscapes and holiday cheer. What also follows are frigid temperatures and slippery ice. Even though our furry friends look dressed for the chilly temps, dogs and cats too can succumb to hypothermia and frost bite in winter weather conditions. Jesse Burns, Marketing and Communications Manager for Foothills Animal Shelter, offers some cold weather care tips for our pets this winter season.
- Don’t leave your pets outside in the cold. They are much happier, healthier and safe indoors. Remember if you are cold and ready to go inside, your pet probably is too.
- Salt and other snow-melting chemicals are very harmful to pets if ingested. Be sure to use pet-friendly ice melts that are available at some pet supply stores. If walking pets on pavement that may have been treated with chemicals, rinse/wipe their feet thoroughly afterward.
- Make sure pets always has access to fresh and unfrozen water.
- Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats and other small animals that may crawl under the hood to keep warm, even if the car is in a garage. Always bang the hood before starting your car to avoid injury to any animals hiding underneath.
- Antifreeze is a poisonous toxin, but it tastes sweet and often attracts animals. Be sure to clean up any spills. To be extra safe, do not leave a pet unattended in a garage or driveway.
- Do not take your dog off leash during cold weather as it is the most common time for dogs to become lost. They can lose their way because cold temperatures can diminish a dog’s sense of smell.
- Refrain from taking your dog in the car when running errands in bitter cold temperatures. While the car can act like an over during the summer months, a car can also act like a freezer in the cold and become just as frigid inside as it is outside.
- Use common sense and keep pets indoors as much as possible during dangerously cold temperatures.
Something all pet owners should have is a current license tag that is securely fastened to the dog’s collar on the remote chance the pet would get lost or run away in the snow. Identification is vital in getting a lost pet returned. Pet licenses and tags can be obtained directly from Foothills Animal Shelter. Cost is only $20 and owners can get one online without having to go out in the cold. Find licensing information here.
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