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!