Cold weather tips for pet own­ers from the Hu­mane So­ci­ety

The Avenue News - - OBITUARIES -

Bit­ter cold temps have hit Bal­ti­more and pets are in dan­ger from be­ing out in the cold just as much as hu­mans are. Here are some tips from Bal­ti­more Hu­mane So­ci­ety for Bal­ti­more pet own­ers to keep their pets safe from the dan­ger­ous weather.

1) Bring your pets in! If it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet to stay out­side for long pe­ri­ods of time. If you have out­door cats or care for feral cats, check out this site on how to make a kitty en­clo­sure: http://www. neigh­bor­hood­cats.org/HOW_TO_FERAL_CAT_WINTER_SHELTER

2) Dogs with short coats should wear a jacket! Breeds that do not have an un­der­coat (dogs with un­der­coats are breeds like shep­herds, huskies, mala­mutes, re­triev­ers) can get cold quickly.

3) Keep off of road salt. Not only is it toxic if your pet in­gests it, it can be very ir­ri­tat­ing and even painful to their paw pads.

4) Wipe your pet’s paws off with a luke­warm wash rag to re­move any melt­ing salt so they do not in­gest it when they groom them­selves.

5) Con­sider ap­ply­ing a bar­rier to your pet’s paws like petroleum jelly to pro­tect their paws while out on a walk.

6) Keep your pet’s coat ap­pro­pri­ately groomed. A healthy coat will work most ef­fi­ciently in keep­ing warmth on the body and cold away.

7) Anti-freeze is ex­tremely poi­sonous and also tempt­ing to pets due to its sweet taste. If you have it in your garage make sure it is kept up high in a leak proof con­tainer. Clean up any that might drip from equip­ment that uses it. If you be­lieve your pet in­gested anti-freeze, get them to a vet­eri­nar­ian im­me­di­ately!

8) Pets ex­posed to cold tem­per­a­tures for long pe­ri­ods of time can ex­pe­ri­ence hy­pother­mia. Signs of hy­pother­mia in­clude low body tem­per­a­ture, low heart rate, low res­pi­ra­tion (breath­ing), vi­o­lent shiv­er­ing, and their gums may turn pale or blue. If you be­lieve your pet is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing hy­pother­mia, warm them slowly to avoid shock, and get them to a full ser­vice vet im­me­di­ately.

9) Less time out­side may mean a bored pet. In­crease your an­i­mal’s in­door en­rich­ment! Frozen kongs, food puz­zles, and train­ing games all pro­vide men­tal ex­er­cise to tire out a pet who can’t get out­doors.

10) Cud­dle up! Cold weather is the per­fect time to spend snug­gling and play­ing with your pet.

And here are two more tips for pets that are not your own –

1)Warm en­gines in parked cars at­tract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up un­der the hood. To avoid in­jur­ing any hid­den an­i­mals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away be­fore start­ing your en­gine.

2) Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold. Here’s ad­vice from the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of the United States on how to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion when you see a pet left in the cold. First po­litely let the owner know you’re con­cerned. If they don’t re­spond well, doc­u­ment what you see: the date, time, ex­act lo­ca­tion and type of an­i­mal, plus as many de­tails as pos­si­ble. Video and pho­to­graphic doc­u­men­ta­tion will help bol­ster your case. Then con­tact your lo­cal an­i­mal con­trol agency or county sher­iff’s of­fice and present your ev­i­dence. Take de­tailed notes re­gard­ing whom you speak with and when. Re­spect­fully fol­low up in a few days if the sit­u­a­tion has not been reme­died.

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