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Be Aware of the Hazards of Cold Weather and Pets

Be Aware of the Hazards of Cold Weather and Pets

Hagerstown, MD- As the temperatures begin to cool pet owners need to remember to take care of their pets to avoid potential dangers associated with the cold.
Leave your pets outside when the temperature drops. Very cold temperatures and the wind chill are both hazardous to your pets, especially short haired animals.
Leave out antifreeze and other dangerous chemicals. Clean up spills as antifreeze and numerous other chemicals are poisonous and can kill not only your pets but small children as well. While you are safely storing antifreeze look around for any other household chemicals that may be dangerous. Even small amounts ingested over time can cause severe health problems and/or death.
Endanger animals seeking warmth in your car engine. A warm engine may attract small animals looking for heat so before you start your engine bang on the hood and/or blow the horn of your car to frighten out any animals that may be sleeping there.
Keep your animals inside during cold weather. Supervise your pet's time outside and keep it short. When walking your short haired dog put on a doggie sweater or coat on them to keep them warm.
Make sure your outside pet is provided for. If your dog is not an inside pet they need to have access to a dry, draft-free doghouse that is raised a couple of inches off the ground. The doghouse should face away from the wind to keep the cold air out. Be sure it is large enough for them to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to help keep their body heat in and that it has sufficient bedding to help keep the heat in. Be sure to check their water bowls to make sure they have access to clean water at all times. Use a plastic bowl as metal can result in your dog's tongue becoming stuck on the bowl. Heated water bowls are inexpensive and will ensure your dog's water does not freeze. Remember to clean and fill it daily. Contact the HSWC if you need help finding a doghouse. Also, the HSWC has bales of straw available for $3.00 per bale.
Call your veterinarian and/or poison control if you suspect your pet has ingested a chemical such as antifreeze or coolant. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour emergency hotline is 1-888-426-4435. There will be a charge to your credit card per case.
Clean your pet's feet after they have been outside. Be award that salts that are dispensed to dissolve ice and snow can irritate your pet's feet. Wipe your pet's feet with a damp towel to remove salt and chemical residue after walking outside.
Continue to provide for the wildlife you feed. If you are feeding the birds outside be sure to remember to refill the feeders and make sure their water source is clean and filled. Just because it is cold outside does not mean the birds won't come looking for the food you have been providing for them.
Remember that our pets depend on us to take care of them. Make sure they are warm, fed, and happy this winter!

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