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Winter is definitely here and it's getting cold outside, which means pets need a little 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 animals.
May we Offer the following tips for pets and cold:
- Pets shouldn't be left outside for extended periods of time when it's cold PERIOD. It does not matter if they are considered an "Outdoor Dog or Cat" or if they have spent most of their time outside, If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for Them!.
- 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 or beep the Horn.
- 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 or yard, 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 or in zero temperatures for all 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 with more food, bodies work to digest, keeping pets warmer from natural digestion .
- Antifreeze is poison for dogs and cats. Clean up any spills and consider using products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. Even if it is not your dog or cat finding the spill on your driveway, neighbor dogs and cats might, just don't take the chance.
- Offer your pet a warm place to sleep that's Inside. Off the floor and away from drafts works best. A cozy bed with a blanket is perfect. Never Leave Animals overnight outside in the cold without protection from the weather, Always insulate dog houses with Hay and bedding.
The Heart Of Detroit Segment Featuring The DaVinci Foundation w/Mitch Albom on News Channel 4