Animals and the Cold Weather

Animals and the Cold Weather

The Humane Society of Washington County would like to alert all residents of the county and surrounding areas to the threat of overexposure of our animals to the cold.
When the temperature begins to fall, you'll find that your pet needs a little extra care. Preparing for winter would be a good time to have your pet examined by a veterinarian. Pets are best kept inside. But if not inside all the time, then bring them in when the temperature reaches 30 degrees or lower especially with the wind chill. Dogs and cats can get frost bitten ears, nose and feet if left outside. Remember, Indoor pets get less exercise in the cold months; so feed them less or make sure they get extra exercise.
Remember that some of the items we use to make life easier during cold weather can be harmful to our animals. Anti-freeze helps our cars run in cold weather but it is a deadly poison when ingested. It has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. To avoid potentially fatal accidents wipe up spills and store anti-freeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family. If you suspect poisoning, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour emergency hotline at 888-426-4435. There will be a charge to your credit card per case.
Salt for ice removal can also be harmful to animals. Available in both solid and liquid form, they are commonly found on roads, sidewalks and driveways. Ice melts often contain ingredients such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride (table salt). When an animals' paw is exposed to ice melt it can irritate the skin, causing the animal to place the paw into its mouth. When this occurs it can lead to a number of symptoms including but not limited no drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and even death. To avoid potential problems we suggest you use a non-toxic ice-melt, commonly available at pet stores and most veterinarians' offices.
Please be aware of the potential dangers of the cold and the items we use to help us conquer the icy conditions. Take care of your animals as you take care of yourself and lets have every one be safe this winter season.

The Humane Society of Washington County exists to improve the quality of life for all animals. Through education, legislation, action and leadership, we strive to eliminate overpopulation and to foster an environment of respect, responsibility and compassion. 301-733-2060.