Banfield Pet Hospital has provided us with the following article. Permission has been granted.
Many families this holiday season want to know how to keep their pets safe during the cold weather months.
See below for pet-safety reminders this winter.
- Keep your dog inside: All dogs should be kept inside when the temperatures drop.
- Increase the calories: In cold weather, older, chronically ill, or debilitated pets may struggle more. Unless your pet is already overweight, talk to your vet about increasing her food intake to give her more calories to keep warm.
- Keep an eye out for frozen water bowls: If you leave water out for feral cats in your neighborhood, be aware that it can freeze in cold weather. Antifreeze ingestion, even in trace amounts, can be fatal. In cold weather, check the water frequently or purchase a water bowl heater.
- Clean up spilled antifreeze: Regular antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is appealing to pets due to its sweet taste. Cats’ paws can also be injured while attempting to break through icy surfaces. It’s risky enough to lick antifreeze from the garage floor. Check for coolant leaks and immediately clean up any spilled antifreeze. Use propylene glycol antifreeze coolant, which is safe for pets, wildlife, and family members.
- Preventing car accidents: In cold weather, cats may climb onto engine compartments in search of warmth. Being hit by a moving fan belt can result in serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries. Before starting your car, knock on the hood or look underneath it, and honk the horn to startle any pets who may have sought refuge beneath it.
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