Many parts of our country are under sever weather warnings. The following are suggestions from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)on how to keep your cats and dogs safe during the winter storm — not just for those in the Northeast, but for all parts of the country:
- Keep your dogs indoors as much as possible during winter months, but this is especially true with the impending storm — please bring them inside immediately, and limit their time outside for brief bathroom trips through the duration of the storm.
- When they do go out, make sure they’re prepared: depending on their breed, coat thickness and size — they may need a coat. If they have sensitive paws, make sure they’re wearing their booties.
- Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent in the snow and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure your dog always wears an ID tag.
- Thoroughly wipe your dog’s legs, feet, and stomach after walking in sleet, snow or ice. He might ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also get cut and bleed from contact with snow or encrusted ice.
- If your large dog spends most of his time outside, take proper precautions during the colder months. Make sure your dog has an insulated and waterproof dog house and access to fresh water. And remember—if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dog. Never leave your dog outside during a snowstorm or inclement weather including sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme cold.
- If you see a pet in distress, report it. If you’re in NYC and you see an animal without adequate shelter, food, or water, please call 311. If you see animal cruelty in progress, call 911. Those outside of NYC should contact their local law enforcement or animal control, depending on the municipality.
Take a look at additional resources and tips to protect your pets from hazardous weather conditions on DogTime.com.