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Keeping Pets Safe This Winter

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With the holiday season quickly approaching, that can only mean one thing; winter is here! With the lights and celebrations comes freezing temperatures and safety hazards, so here are some tips on keeping your pets safe this winter.

Cozy Up Inside

While it may be a common misconception that pets are more tolerant to the cold, no pet should be kept outside in frigid temperatures. They are at just as much risk for hypothermia and frost bite as humans and should only be let out for short periods of time. Having a time restriction on how long your pet can be out is a good idea, for example, if it’s below thirty degrees, only allow ten minutes of outside playtime. Dogs of a certain breed such a huskies have a thicker cold bred for colder climates and can handle being outside for longer, but no pet should be left outside in freezing and below freezing temperatures.

Hideaway Spots

Stray and feral cats often like to hide under your car and on top of tires for warmth in the winter but this can be deadly. Before driving, bang on the hood or honk your horn to allow any furry visitors to get away before your start your journey.

Travel With A Towel

As icy conditions worsen, the salt and antifreeze on pathways will increase. If you walk your dog on sidewalks with these products, be sure to wipe their paws thoroughly when you get home to prevent them ingesting it later or skin damage. A small rinse of your pet can also be beneficial to remove any toxic chemicals. Be wary of washing your pet too much as it can remove essential oils from their coat and cause dry skin. Another important tip is to check your dog’s paws often for signs of cold-weather damage, such as cracked paws. The cold weather can have similar effects on their skin as it does on yours and can become dry and at risk for injury if not cared for.

Play Dress-Up

Dogs with shorter coats or resistance to the cold can benefit from sweaters and coats this time of year. Be sure to have some options for your pet so in case one gets wet, you have a dry layer for your pet the next time you go out. Booties are also great for not only keeping your pet’s paws warm but for protection from chemicals and salt and sand from getting lodged in between their toes.

Update Information

As always, updating your pet’s collar tags and microchips is essential. With snow and ice coating the roads and yards, some pets may find it more difficult to find their way back home if they become lost.

Last but not least, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. Leave your pet home when you go out if you will have to leave them in the car as cold cars are just as bad as hot cars.

Give the gift of a forever home this winter to a homeless animal. Check out all the animals available for adoption at the New Hampshire SPCA http://nhspca.org/adoption/

Can’t adopt but still want to help? Donate to the Holiday Fund Drive

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