REMEMBER PETS DURING VERY COLD WEATHER
Cold Weather tips from the
Humane Society of Missouri
winter quickly approaching, the Humane Society of Missouri urges all pet owners
to please bring their pets inside. Pets rely on people to help them stay warm
when the weather is cold. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold
for your pet.
BRING YOUR PET INSIDE: Don't leave your pet
outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes the air colder
than actual temperature readings. Be attentive to your pet's body temperature
and limit time outdoors, especially to prevent frostbite on ears, tail and
feet. If you run with your dog, be attentive to cold paws and leave Fido
at home if it gets too cold. Always keep your Kitty inside. It's the law in the
City of St. Louis. Furthermore, "outside" cats are often the
victims of cars, dogs, other predators and inhumane people.
ACCLIMATE YOUR PET TO COLD
your pet will spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to gradually provide
exposure to dropping temperatures, instead of exposing them to the extreme cold
all at once.
PROVIDE ADEQUATE SHELTER: Adequate shelter is
mandatory by law. If your dog lives outdoors, you must provide a well-insulated
and draft-free doghouse. The opening should face south with a sturdy, flexible
covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Keep straw (NOT hay) inside the
doghouse. Avoid towels and blankets which can easily dampen and make the space
BEWARE OF ANTIFREEZE AND ROCK
Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly
poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your pet -- it is lethal. If
you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact your veterinarian
immediately! Rock salt, used to melt ice on sidewalks, can irritate footpads.
Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside. Pet
store often carry pet-safe ice melts that still do the job, but won’t harm your
DRY OFF WET PETS: Towel or blow-dry your pet
if he gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean his paws to
prevent tiny cuts and cracked pads.
PROVIDE PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER: It takes more energy in
the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so your pet needs additional
calories if he spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal.
Also, provide plenty of fresh water. Your pet is just as likely to get
dehydrated in the winter as in the summer. Snow is not a substitute for
water. Outside water bowls will freeze; refill outside bowls often.
CAREFULLY KEEP PETS WARM INSIDE: Keep your pets warm, dry
and away from drafts while inside. Tiles and uncarpeted areas might become very
cold; place blankets and pads on floors in these areas. Be careful of
supplemental heat sources. Make sure all fireplaces have screens and keep
portable heaters out of reach.
GROOM REGULARLY: Your pet needs a
well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs
might get extra cold; consider a sweater or a coat. Long-haired dogs should
have their paw hair clipped to ease snow removal and the cleaning of their
To report an animal in weather-related jeopardy, please call the Humane Society of Missouri at (314) 647-4400.