CUMBERLAND — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is reminding pet owners that cold temperatures can be particularly dangerous for pets. The ASPCA urges pet owners to keep their pets safe as temperatures drop and heavy snow and ice threaten the Midwest and Northeast.
“Winter weather can be just as dangerous for pets as it can be for people, but there are many ways to prepare our pets and ensure their safety in potentially hazardous weather conditions,” said Dr. Lori Bierbrier, senior medical director, ASPCA Community Medicine. “Pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, injured or even killed from being left outdoors in the cold. Any outdoor animals should be immediately brought and kept inside until the storm and cold temperatures pass.”
To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting a pet’s health, remember the following advice:
• Keep your pets inside with a warm place to sleep.
- After each walk, make sure to clean and properly dry your pet’s feet and stomach. Check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. .
- Never shave your pet down to their skin and try not to bathe them as often during cold spells. Longer coats provide more warmth, like wearing a winter coat.
- Thoroughly clean up any antifreeze spills. Antifreeze is lethal for both dogs and cats. Consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Cold weather chemicals like ice melts can be dangerous when ingested. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 888-426-4435.
- Keep your dog on the leash in snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Make sure your dog always wears an ID tag and consider getting a microchip implant.
- During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes seek shelter underneath cars. Bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give cats a chance to escape.