2005-01-28 / Community

Winter Protection For Your Pet

The Humane Society of The United States has released a series of winter reminders for pet owners. Among the recommendations are:

• Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops below freezing. Dogs need outdoor exercise, but don’t keep them out for long during very cold weather. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks. Cats should never be let out in any season, and dogs should never be left outside unattended as they risk being stolen or otherwise being harmed.

• Wind-chill can threaten a pet’s life, no matter what the temperature. Dogs and cats should not be left outside during the winter months, or any other time of the year.

• De-icing chemicals are hazardous. The salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe their feet with a damp towel after coming in from outdoors – even if you don’t see salt on walkways.

• Antifreeze is a deadly poison but it has a sweet taste that attracts animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife or people.

• Warm car engines are attractive hiding places for animals looking for warmth. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than eight million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. The HSUS protects all animals through legislation, litigation, investigation, education, advocacy and fieldwork. Visit them on the web at www.hsus.org .

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