Winter is a time we should pay close attention to the safety of our pets. Here are some safety tips to follow:
- With the change in weather, it’s a good time to monitor your pet’s food intake. Pets who live outdoors should be fed a bit more in the winter because they need the extra calories to stay warm. Indoor pets typically receive less exercise during cold weather and may require fewer calories.
- Oregon law requires all companion animals be provided shelter from the elements. They also should have fresh water put out a couple of times a day, or consider a special bowl that prevents the water from freezing. In severe weather, allow your pet in your house or garage.
- If your pet goes outdoors, be aware of the temperature. Pets can get frostbite very easily on the ears, tail and paws.
- When walking your dog in freezing conditions, check the paws to make sure that ice is not building up between the toes and that salt or gravel from the roads is not irritating the skin.
- If your dog is a swimmer, keep them on a leash around open water or unstable ice. Hypothermia can set in quickly and your dog may be unable to get out of the water.
- Before you start your car, ensure no kitties have decided to nap in a warm spot by honking the horn or banging on the hood.
- If you are decorating for the holidays, keep ornaments out of the reach of your pets. Remember that poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and other plants can be toxic if ingested.
- Ingesting anti-freeze can be fatal for your dog or cat. It has a sweet taste and even a tiny amount can cause severe kidney damage and even death. You can use a pet-safe antifreeze–look for brands containing propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. If you spill anti-freeze, soak it up immediately. (Clay kitty litter works well and discard the litter once the anti-freeze has been absorbed.)
For more information and tips, visit www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.