Keep Your Furry Friends Safe This Win­ter


The De­part­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices re­minds you to take pre­cau­tions to en­sure your en­tire fam­ily is safe this win­ter, in­clud­ing your furry friends. As the tem­per­a­tures drop, re­mem­ber if it’s too cold for you out­side, it is prob­a­bly too cold for your pet.

If you ab­so­lutely must keep your pets out­doors, pre­pare now to en­sure they have proper win­ter shel­ter. Dogs should not be teth­ered out­side for more than four hours a day. If a dog is kept out­side for more than four hours, it must have a ken­nel or pen.

Charles County’s an­i­mal reg­u­la­tions de­fine safe out­door shel­ters. Your pet’s shel­ters must be weath­er­proof with­out cracks or open­ings other than the door or vents, and can­not have a plas­tic or metal in­te­rior sur­face. Keep all bed­ding dry and the floor must be off the ground by at least two inches. When the tem­per­a­ture is 35 de­grees or lower, the en­trance must be cov­ered with a self- clos­ing door, off­set outer door, or flex­i­ble flap and/ or en­trance should face south to east to pro­tect your pet from the el­e­ments. Re­mem­ber to pro­vide potable water for your pet at all times; pets can de­hy­drate quickly in cold weather. Frozen water or snow is not ac­cept­able for keep­ing your pet hy­drated.

When tak­ing your pet for a walk, al­ways check your pet’s paws. Pets are likely to walk through ar­eas treated with salt or other de­icers. While some ice melts are clearly marked as safe for pets, many are not. If your pet licks their feet af­ter walk­ing on these de­icers, it may be at risk of get­ting sick. Use a towel to wipe off their paws af­ter a walk and rinse their paws as soon as pos­si­ble if they walk through salt or other de­icers.

Your pet’s skin tends to dry out in the win­ter much like yours. When pos­si­ble, in­crease the in­ter­val be­tween baths for your pet and use a mois­tur­iz­ing sham­poo. Do not shave your pet’s coat down in the win­ter; a longer coat will help to keep it warm. If your pet is short haired, a coat or sweater with a high col­lar or tur­tle neck will help keep your pet warm when it’s out­side on walks.

Pets are an im­por­tant part of our com­mu­nity and our ev­ery­day lives. We thank you in ad­vance for do­ing your part to keep our county, in­clud­ing our furry com­mu­nity, safe through­out the year. If you have an an­i­mal con­cern, con­tact our An­i­mal Con­trol Ser­vices at 301- 609- 3425. V is itwww. Charles Coun­tyMD. gov/ es/ an­i­mal con­trol/ an­i­mal-con­trol for the full list­ing of an­i­mal reg­u­la­tions and in­for­ma­tion about our An­i­mal Con­trol Ser­vices. Visit www. ready. gov for safety tips for the whole fam­ily. Stay safe and warm this win­ter!

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