Tips for keeping cats & dogs safe this winter!

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Winter is in the air and the days and nights are getting progressively cooler.  Here are a few simple steps we can take to ensure the safety of our pets.

1)    Keep your pet safe and warm inside!  In addition to the potential year round risks of injury, fatality and exposure to infectious diseases, winter brings freezing temperatures.  It is a misconception that animals can withstand exposure to sub-zero temperatures because they have fur.  Animals are at risk of frost bite especially the tips of their ears, their paw pads and tails, as well as hypothermia and freezing to death.

2)    There may be outdoor cats in your neighborhood that are taking refuge under the hood of your car.  Before you start your car this winter bang loudly on the hood.  This will give the cat a chance to escape and avoid being injured or killed.

3)    Avoid letting your dog off leash during snowstorms.  It is possible for dogs to lose their scent and become lost.  Another important reason to have ID tags on your dog’s collar!

4)    Make sure you wipe your pets’ paws after they have been outdoors.  You don’t want them ingesting salt or harmful chemicals like antifreeze when they lick their paws.  Antifreeze is lethal to pets!  Consider putting booties on to protect them when you take them out for walks.

5)    Buy a sweater or coat for short haired dogs to wear during walks and do not shave your pets during the winter.

6)    Just like you should never leave your pet in the car during the summer, the same applies to the winter.  Your car can act like a refrigerator and retain all the cold air.

7)    Pay attention to your pets’ behaviour.  A puppy or an older dog may not be able to handle as much time in the cold.  Watch for signs such as shivering and crying.

8)    Build a shelter in your yard to help homeless or lost cats.  Every cat deserves shelter and they do not have the ability to make their own.  You could save a life!  The video link below has some great tips/pointers on building winter shelters!

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