As our Minnesota cold weather lingers on, here are some good reminders about how to keep your pets safe in Extreme Cold.
1. Do not leave your pet outdoors when temperatures drop below freezing. Pets that are mostly indoors need time to adapt to cold temperatures by building a thicker coat and toughening their footpads for ice and snow. Dogs and cats are safer indoors during extreme weather.
2. If your pet walks on salted or chemically treated areas, be sure to wash its paws after your walk.
3. Wind-chill is a threat to pets, even those protected by shelters. Outdoor dogs must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to both sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to retain body heat. The floor should be elevated a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.
4. Pets that spend a great amount of time outdoors in the winter need more food. Maintaining warmth depletes energy. Check your pet’s water dish to ensure the water is fresh and not frozen. Plastic, rather than metal food and water bowls are preferred to keep your pet’s tongue from freezing to its bowl.
5. Don’t leave your pet locked inside a car during extremely cold weather. Cars can hold cold air in, putting your pet at risk.
6. Be leery of frozen bodies of water. If your pet falls through the ice, call 9-1-1 or go for help.
7. Store anti-freeze away from pets.
8. Checked parked vehicles for small animals which may crawl under the hood seeking warmth.