Friday, December 15, 2006

Winter Tips for Keeping Pets Safe and Warm

As winter approaches, it's important that we protect all of our animal companions. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when caring for your pet as cold weather approaches.

1. Be careful of antifreeze drips and spills. Domestic and wild animals are attracted to antifreeze and will often drink it, unaware that it is poisonous. Most animals will not recover if they accidentally consume antifreeze. Ensure that you wipe up any spills and tightly close all containers to protect your cat, dog, or a wild animal.

2. It is best to keep pets indoors during times of extreme cold. Cats and dogs can still experience frost bite on the tips of their ears, nose, and paws. If your animal must remain outdoors, use wood for creating a shelter and straw works best as a heat insulator. Blankets and towels will only freeze if left outdoors. Straw is fairly inexpensive, as well, and costs about $4 to $5 per bale. Always ensure that your animal has fresh water that is not frozen and extra food. Animals consume more food in the winter in order to keep warm. Remember, it's always best that the animal be inside, if possible, but follow the above tips for necessary outdoor shelters.

3. Watch for any changes to an animals appearance during the winter months. Some animals respond differently to cold than others. Paw pads may bleed or become cracked due to exposure to the cold, ice, and snow. Use natural ointments to soothe paw pads and always clean off any snow remnants.

4. If you see a stray or lost animal, do the right thing and pick it up. Give us a call and we will direct you as to how to best help the animal. Carry an emergency pack with you (extra blankets, treats, water jug, leashes, carriers, etc.), in case you may need to lure a frightened animal out of hiding in order to get it to safety.

These are just several animal tips to keep in mind when caring for your pet during throughout the cold winter months. Call or e-mail us if you have any questions. Remember, keep your animal companions safe and warm!