The Oregon Humane Society offers these tips to keep pets safe and healthy during cold weather.
Pets are Best Kept Inside
* Bring pets indoors when temperatures reach 30 degrees with or without wind chill.
* Wipe your pet’s paws clean after walks—chemicals used to melt ice and snow on sidewalks can irritate pets' paws and can be dangerous if ingested.
* Indoor pets get less exercise in the cold months, so feed them less.
If Your Pet Must be Kept Outside
* An outdoor dog needs a dry, elevated shelter with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out.
* Consider adding a dog door to the garage, and then place a soft cushion in the warmest corner of the garage for your dog.
* Make sure drinking water is not frozen. Check bowls periodically throughout the day. Even in cold weather, pets need water.
* Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
* Give outdoor pets more food. Outdoor pets need calories to produce body heat.
For Both Indoor and Outdoor Pets
* Make sure a cat hasn't crawled under your car seeking warmth near the engine. Slap the car hood before starting the engine to startle any animal sleeping there.
* After a walk, check your pet‘s paws for bleeding or cuts from snow or encrusted ice.
* Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the pet to freeze to death.
For More Info
Visit the OHS website for more tips for “winterizing” your pet: http://www.oregonhumane.org/pet_training/winterizing.asp