If temperatures are dropping and snow is in the forecast in your neck of the woods, the ASPCA recommends the following tips to keep your animal companions safe and sound:
· Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Canines may lose their scent in winter weather, and can easily become lost. In fact, more dogs are reported lost during this time of the year than in any other season, so make sure yours always wears proper identification.
· Provide your companion animal with a warm place to sleep, far away from drafts and off the floor. Dog and cat beds with a warm blanket or pillow are especially cozy.
· Please keep cats inside! Felines who spend time outside can freeze, or become lost or injured. And some outdoor cats seek the warmth under the hoods of cars — so if there are any such kitties in your neighborhood remember to bang loudly on the hood and wait a few seconds before starting your vehicle.
· Wipe off your dog’s legs and belly when she comes in out of the elements. This will remove any salt, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals that could hurt your dog should she ingest them when licking her paws.
· Puppies can’t handle the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be more difficult to housebreak during the winter.