Humane Society Urges Pet Owners to Use Caution in Winter Weather

By KOLR10 News

Published 02/28 2014 03:23PM

Updated 02/28 2014 03:35PM

Tank says if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for me!
Tank says if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for me!/courtesy Jennifer Kielman
SOUTHWEST Mo. – With another round of winter weather and single-digit temperatures expected this weekend, the Humane Society of Missouri is urging all pet owners to bring their pets inside and be cautious when exposing pets to the cold.

The Humane Society says, as a general rule, if it is too cold for you outside, it is too cold for your pets.

The organization has released the following tips for pet owners.

BRING YOUR PET INSIDE: Don't leave your pet outside in the cold for prolonged periods of time. Remember — thermometers might show one temperature, but wind chills can make it feel much, much colder. Limit time outdoors and be mindful of frostbite on ears, tail and feet. If you run with your dog, pay attention to cold paws and if it gets too cold, leave your pup at home. Cats should always be left indoors — it's the law in the City of St. Louis. "Outdoor" cats are often victims of road traffic, wild animals, dogs and cruel people.

PROVIDE ADEQUATE SHELTER: Adequate shelter is mandated 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. Line the floors of the shelter with straw, not hay. Towels and blankets can become damp or freeze, making the space colder.

BEWARE OF ANTIFREEZE AND ROCK SALT: Antifreeze often collects on driveways and roadways. Although it smells and tastes sweet to your pet, it is lethally poisonous. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately! Deicing products like rock salt can irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside. Pet stores often carry pet-safe ice melts that do the job and won’t harm your pets.

DRY OFF WET PETS: A wet pet is a cold pet. Towel or blow-dry your pet if he gets wet from rain or
snow. Also, it is important to clean and dry paws to prevent tiny cuts and cracked pads.

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