Nice article Courtney. Often we believe our pets have the inflexible ability to endure and survive in cold weather akin to the skills of animals in the wild. Not so. Our domesticated family pets are very vulnerable to cold weather and need to be cared for in a responsible manner. Here are some verbatim excerpts form the Courtney Vaughn’s article.
Pros urge owners to protect pets in winter
By Courtney Vaughn, Hi-Desert Star, Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Cold weather can be a hazard to pets and livestock who spend most of their time outdoors.
San Bernardino County Animal Control’s Web site recommends keeping cats and dogs inside when possible, but also offers some information about keeping four-legged friends safe and healthy when they are outdoors.
Outdoors, cats can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to fatal infectious diseases, including rabies,” the site states. :
It is not recommended that you chain or tie your dog up to prevent him from wandering off… . if an owner must chain or tie a dog up, she should use a trolley system, which prevents entanglement and allows the dog to move freely, giving it easy access to food and water.
ce, sleet and snow also can pose a danger for pets. It’s important to wipe your dog’s or cat’s stomach and paws before they come in from wet weather, as they could be exposed to antifreeze or other hazardous chemicals when they lick themselves.
In addition, ice can become impacted in their paws and cause them to crack or bleed.
Shelter manager Michelle Willey of the Morongo Basin Humane Society in Joshua Tree says dogs who stay outside should have adequate sleeping quarters and protection from the elements.
“Make sure they have a warm place to sleep with blankets or a dog bed,” she suggests.
“You should bang on your car hood before starting your vehicle because wildlife and cats like to climb inside your engine to find shelter. The bang should scare them out of the vehicle so they don’t get injured or killed when you start your vehicle,” she adds.
As one animal expert points out, sometimes even warm bedding won’t shield from harsh weather conditions.
She emphasized that an animal’s temperature tolerance is all dependent on its weight and size, and of course, its medical history.
Strands of lights can be chewed through, just as Christmas tree tinsel and garland can be tinkered with by curious pets. Festive plants such as lillies, amaryllis, poinsettia, mistletoe and evergreen can make cats and dogs sick, if ingested.
Tinsel can be especially attractive to kittens: it looks like a sparkling toy that’s easy to bat around. But if swallowed, it can obstruct the cat’s digestive tract, the ASPCA warns.
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