Thursday, January 4, 2018

'Cold Weather Imperatives for Pet Owners'

Harper and Whisky safe and warm!
The Animal Haven, Inc,, one of the oldest private, no-kill animal shelters serving Connecticut, alerts pet owners to the danger that subfreezing weather poses.

"Already this winter we've heard sad stories in the news about pets who have been drastically affected by freezing temperatures," says Animal Haven Board of Directors member Arnie Cary, DVM. "A good rule of thumb to remember is if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them."
Pet owners are encouraged to observe the following safety tips:
 
All pets should live inside during prolonged subfreezing weather. Short haired pets should NEVER live outside; they have no insulation.  Some long haired pets (with double coats) have the ability to exist in the cold weather. They need a protected, dry, wind free environment, off the ground with clean dry bedding.
Cold weather is generally dry weather, so there should be plenty of unfrozen water available, ideally in a plastic or porcelain bowl (tongues may stick to metal!).
 
Proper nutrition is critical. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more calories are need in the winter for outdoor pets to enable them to generate enough body heat and energy to stay warm.  Pet parents are encouraged to talk to their veterinarian about their pets' nutritional needs for successfully coping in cold weather.
 
Just as leaving your dog in a hot car in the summer is very dangerous, it is equally dangerous to leave them in a COLD car, especially if they are young, old, thin, short-haired, or have medical problems (such as coat or thyroid/adrenal problems). Do not leave your pet in the cold for any length of time,

Examine and wipe your pets' feet after walking outside in the cold. Snow can build up, pads can be injured, and ice melt chemicals can be ingested by pets cleaning their own feet. 

Clean any spills of antifreeze if you are using it where pets reside.  Many products still contain a sweet tasting, but highly toxic chemical.
 
In general, monitor your pet closely in extreme cold weather, watching for shivering, decreased activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss.  When in doubt, seek guidance from your veterinarian or local animal clinic.
 The following is a press release, shared here unedited as a public service.
 
The Animal Haven, located at 89 Mill Road in North Haven, CT, is a private, nonprofit, and charitable organization whose mission is to provide a temporary, safe, caring and humane refuge for homeless, adoptable cats and dogs, and to subsequently place these animals in quality, adoptive and permanent homes. It advocates responsible pet ownership, follows a mandatory spay-neuter policy, prohibits euthanization of our animals unless deemed medically appropriate, and works in the community to fight animal cruelty through education.  The Animal Haven enlists and promotes public involvement in the humane treatment of animals, and is committed to principles of justice and compassion for all animals. Since 1948, The Animal Haven has been celebrating the special friendship between people and their animal companions and has been self-supporting; it receives no annual income from town or government sources. Funding comes from membership dues, private contributions, entry and adoption donations, and many fundraising projects. To learn about cats and dogs available for adoption and how to support The Animal Haven, visit the website at theanimalhaven.com and follow them on Facebook/theanimalhaven.

Editor's note: All information in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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