Keeping your pets safe during a Winter Storm

1897677_10201720031986834_14766797_nWhile the snow for us humans can look and feel like a winter wonderland, for our furry friends it can be deadly and we need to take precautions to protect them.

If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water. If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.

If some animals such as feral cats, cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Large covered Rubbermaid containers are perfect. You can create a opening on the side while keeping the top sealed with the cover as I do for my feral cats.  Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and fill it with cedar shavings,Pine Straw, or shredded newspaper.  Pine Straw is inexpensive and available at large local hardware chain stores for under $4.00 a bale.  I prefer using a combination of both newspaper and Pine Straw.  Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.  For feral cats that you may feed that do not wish to stay in a enclosure, consider doing what I do.  I leave my garage open about 7 inches for any cat to squeeze under and seek warmth.  I provide food and water inside the garage.

Don’t let your dog off leash after heavy snowfall if you have no enclosed yard , as they can easily become lost.  Snow can make many dogs excited and while having fun can run off and loose their sense of direction.  The last situation you want in a winter storm is your dog to be lost in these elements.

Clean off your Pet’s paws and belly with a moist washcloth after going outside. Snow-melting salt can be very painful to your pet’s feet and can make them ill if ingested. Even just licking their own body with salt on them can be painful. Clumps of snow can accumulate between toes and cause pain as well. So be sure to wipe your pet’s paws off well.

Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. If you have a microchip in your furbaby please make sure it is registered and updated.

During cold winter temperatures, outdoor cats sometimes sleep underneath cars for shelter. Be sure to Bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give any resting cats a chance to escape.
If you lose power, be sure candles are not in a location where your pet can knock them over.

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