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Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy in All This Snow

Animals need extra care during extreme winter weather.

Animals need extra care during extreme weather. (Patch file photo)
Animals need extra care during extreme weather. (Patch file photo)
In cases of extreme snow, wind and cold, the animals in our lives often need special care and consideration. Animals can suffer from frostbite just as people can, PETA warns, and extreme cold can cause typical water supplies to freeze.

PETA offers these tips to make sure your animals are safe during extreme winter weather:
  • Keep animals indoors. This is absolutely critical when it comes to puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, including pointers, beagles, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers. Short-haired animals will also benefit from a warm sweater or a coat on walks.
  • Don't allow your cat or dog to roam outdoors. During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started.
  • Wipe off your dogs' or cats' legs, feet, and stomachs after they come in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them. You should also increase animals' food rations during the winter because they burn more calories in an effort to stay warm.
  • Keep an eye out for stray animals. Take unidentified animals indoors until you can find their guardians or take them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call your local humane society for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.
  • If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements, please notify authorities. For information on what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.
  • During extreme winter weather, birds and other animals may have trouble finding food and water. Offer rations to wildlife who are caught in storms or white-outs by spreading birdseed on the ground. Provide access to liquid water by filling a heavy water bowl and breaking the surface ice twice a day. Remember to remove the food once the weather improves to encourage the animals to move on to warmer areas.

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