Brr! Cold Weather Pet Alert

´╗┐Dear Christina,


The temperature is dipping to single digits by week's end and both indoor and outdoor pets need special care.


Humane Animal Allies (HAA) offers the following tips to keep animals comfortable during these cold winter months.


* By law, dogs cannot be tied outside for more than 30 minutes when it is colder than 32 degrees. When bringing an outdoor animal inside, make a safe place for them in a cooler area such as a heated garage or basement.


* If an animal is outside, make sure they have adequate shelter that is dry and draft-free. They should be able to sit and lie down comfortably. Don't make it too large, however: it should be small enough hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Blankets will get wet and freeze. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic. 


* Increase the amount of food you provide in the winter: the extra calories will help keep them warm.  


* Check often to make sure they have unfrozen water. Don't use metal bowls: when it is cold your pet's tongue may freeze to the metal. Plastic bowls are better!  


Also: 


* Keep your indoor pets safe by not leaving them outside for extended periods of time. Sweaters help keep shorthaired dogs comfortable during outdoor jaunts. Wipe feet with a damp towel every time after coming in from outdoors to remove harmful salt. 


* Before you start your car, bang on the hood to scare away cats or small wildlife that may have crawled up under the hood to keep warm.


* Wipe up any antifreeze spills, which is a deadly poison. The sweet taste attracts animals and children. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or people. 



If you see an animal at risk, contact your local humane police officer by visiting www.humaneanimalallies.org and requesting an investigation. Remember that the animals are counting on you!


With a little extra care, we can make sure that our animals stay comfortable and safe this winter.  


Humane Animal Allies promotes respect and compassion for all living creatures in the hearts and minds of those in our community. To learn more, visit www.humaneanimalallies.org.

Click here for laws protecting animals.
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