Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Unleashed

Unleashed A blog for animals and the people who love them
Lifestyle Pets Unleashed

Tips to keep your pet safe in cold weather

With the polar votex on its way, pets need extra consideration. Just as dogs and cats and bunnies can't be left out in the heat of the summer, cold and snowy days pose their own risks to beloved pets.

The experts at the MD SPCA offer the following tips for pets and cold:

- Pets shouldn't be left outside for extended periods of time when it's cold. If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet.

- Watch for cats! Outdoor cats sometimes seek shelter near warm car engines and sleep under the hoods of vehicles. If the engine starts, the fan belt can kill the animal. If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, bang on the car hood before starting up the motor to let the cat escape.

- Never let your dog off-leash in the snow or ice -- he can become disoriented and lost, even in a familiar place. More dogs are lost in winter than any other season: be sure yours has an ID tag, microchip, and sturdy leash.

- Take a minute to wipe your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in from a walk in the sleet, snow, or ice. He might ingest salt or chemicals when grooming himself, and his paw pads might crack and bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

- Never shave a dog down to skin in the winter. A longer coat offers warmth. Consider a coat or sweater for shorter-haired breeds.

- Just like in the summer, never leave a pet alone in the car. A car can act like a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the car and causing your pet to freeze to death.

- Offer more food to dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors in the cold. It will help keep them, and their fur, healthier.

- Antifreeze is poison for dogs and cats. Clean up any spills and consider using products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.

- Offer your pet a warm place to sleep that's off the floor and away from drafts. A cozy bed with a blanket is perfect.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Ask the Pet Expert | Debarking a dog

    Ask the Pet Expert | Debarking a dog

    I have a 4-year-old Yorkipoo who barks all the time — when other dogs walk by the yard, when I hug my wife, when he senses we're leaving the house, etc. He's on Prozac because he's so high-strung. His bark is so piercing that we are considering having him de-barked (the vocal cord surgery) because...

  • Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets

    Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets

    Read about local pets, or share your own story. We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut. For more information, email pets@baltsun.com and be sure to put "Collared" in the subject line.

  • Dog keeps licking pillow

    Dog keeps licking pillow

    My 4-year-old Labrador retriever licks my pillow until it's soaked through. She doesn't do this to anything else in the house. Why might she be doing it and what can I do to discourage it?

  • Ask the Pet Expert | Dog barks nonstop in car

    Ask the Pet Expert | Dog barks nonstop in car

    My 4-year-old Lab loves to ride in the car, but barks almost nonstop. Eventually he falls asleep, but until then it's deafening and stressful. He doesn't do this any other time. How can we get him to stop?

  • County residents care for puppies destined to be service dogs

    County residents care for puppies destined to be service dogs

    Families, single people and couples open their homes to adorable balls of fur, ready to care for them and train them. They know that in a year's time those puppies will be grown, well-behaved dogs almost ready to begin new lives as service dogs for sight-impaired owners.

  • Baltimore County animal shelter offers Memorial Day discounts

    Baltimore County animal shelter offers Memorial Day discounts

    Thinking about adopting a pet at the Baltimore County animal shelter? If you do it on Memorial Day, it will cost you half as much as usual.

Comments
Loading

72°