We were hoping that winter would be over by now, what with global warming and all that, but apparently not. Darn it!
So you probably already know much of this, but reminders about how to protect pets in the winter weather never hurt.
The basic rule of thumb is this: If it is excruciatingly cold for you, it’s the same for your best friend.
So act accordingly.
Here are some suggestions from the ASPCA pet care guidelines.
If at all possible, keep your cats inside. It’s just better and safer for them.
Remember that outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, they can be injured or killed by the fan belt.
If your cats, or neighborhood cats, might be outside, remember to bang on the car hood before starting the engine to give them a chance to escape.
Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.
So make sure yours always wears ID tags.
Wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals when he licks his paws, and his paw pads may also become dry and irritated or bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
If you use ice melt at your house, buy one of the pet friendly brands.
Remember that antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats.
Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
Never shave your dog in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth.
When you bathe her in the colder months, be sure to completely dry her before taking her out for a walk.
If your dog is already short haired, consider getting her a coat or sweater to wear when it is really cold.
Sure, she will look ridiculous. But, most people do at this time of year too, so she will fit right in.
Never leave any pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car acts like a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
The age of your dog is a consideration.
Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to house train during the winter.
If your puppy seems to really hate the cold, you may want to paper-train him inside. Of if your dog is especially sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, is your dog one of those that loves the cold and spends a lot running around in the snow?
Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in good shape. He needs those extra calories and will burn them off.
An finally, make sure your buddy has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A nice soft dog or cat bed is great, but, let’s just face it — in bed with you is perfect!
Speaking of getting through the winter, you can get your own personal warming device for only $20.14 at the Warm Up Oswego Adoption Day on February 8, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Oswego Armory, 265 W. First St.
Adoption fees for cats older than six months are only $20.14 that day.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Phone (315) 207-1070.
Because people and pets are good for each other!