If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are an animal lover! As the snow comes down (and it’s only November!), we need to advocate a bit more for our furry friends out there.
Here are a few tips / things to consider!
- Stay inside in extreme weather. Make it quick trips out to pee and poop for dogs. Cats should stay inside, no matter what they tell you (and they will tell you!)
- Bundle up! You may think your dog hates to wear a coat on walks…well, too bad: so do some toddlers. Remember, not all coats are created equally. For those dogs that really resist, look for the horse blanket type, that just drapes over and clips easily in a few spots
- Protect the paws! Cold and salt are hard on a pup’s feet, and you have a few options. Booties provide a barrier from salt, toxic wiper fluid and cold. Buy or make your own paw balm for protection and conditioning of paws. Be sure to wipe wet paws when your pup comes in to remove snow, salt or ice that may be stuck. Anti-freeze is toxic!
- If you see a cat or dog roaming, don’t assume that it knows what it is doing. It could be lost, it could be abandoned. You, as the human, need to see if it needs help. If the pet is lost, here are some tips to help you, help them. Whenever possible, get the animal in, out of the cold asap.
- Do you have feral cats in your area? Be sure they have a safe spot to go. Consider making a feral cat shelter, or if you don’t want to make one, there always seems to be a shelter or an individual selling them to raise funds for rescue. A cat may take weeks or months to consider using your shelter (be sure it’s not too close to human activity) but give them time. When they need it the most, they will seek it out, so give them the option (You know cats: it has to be on their terms!)
- Give your hood a tap before starting your car each day. A warm engine is a great spot for cats to curl up for the night.
- Doing errands? Leave your pets at home. Yes, they love to be with you, but they also like their cozy bed at home. It is not kind (or legal) to keep your pets in the car when temperatures are extreme. If you see a pet in a car, call 310-SPCA to report them and get help on the way.
- Collars, chips, trackers – in the winter, more pets get lost as familiar scents are buried in snow. As always, practice extreme caution with your pets getting off-leash, bolting out the front door, etc. (Reminder…never chase a loose pet!!)
- Stay off the ice. In puddle form, it may contain toxic fluids. On a lake or pond, breakage happens (if you want to risk your life, so be it, but please leave your dog out of it!)
- Outdoor pets? No, just no. It is not legal to let your pets (cats or dogs) roam off-leash, without supervision. Treat your pets as part of the family and keep them safe, dry and warm – with you.