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Keeping Our Pets Safe This Winter

Shawn Michaels, Townsquare Media

Health Tips for our “furry” friends

 

 

So far the Winter of 2014 is coming on strong with temps near zero and snow….and we’ve only begun, so it’s time to remember our Pets. Our friends at the Ocean County Health Department remind us to keep our Pets safe by remembering simple safety rules …..

Keep your cat(s) inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray may be exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife. Also, during the winter sometimes cats sleep under the hoods
of cars to stay warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If  there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm; dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. Since more dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, make sure yours always wears ID tags. When re-entering your home with your dog, thoroughly wipe off your its legs and stomach of snow and ice. Dogs can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws; paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. ~ Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator.

 

Also Leslie Terjesen OCHD Public Information Officer added ……

Do not leave your pet alone in a car during this extreme cold weather. As in the summer a car can act as an oven, during this extreme cold, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing and animal to freeze to death.

 

Some more cold-weather pet tips include:

 

  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more
    warmth.

 

  • When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.

 

  • Consider getting your dog a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

 

  • If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

 

  • If your dog spends a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities, increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him-and his fur-in tip-top shape.

 

 

  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

 

 

  • If your dog is an outside dog, he must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

 

  • No matter what the temperature, wind-chill can threaten a pet’s life.

 

 

The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and then come inside with you. One of the best ways to avoid weather related problems with your pets is to keep them inside with you and your family. ~ Ocean County Health Department

 

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