6 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Pets From The Cold

By: Nick Viviani
By: Nick Viviani

With several inches of snow, freezing temperatures, and high winds all predicted for the next several days, don't forget about our four-legged (and feathered) friends.

They may have fur coats, but they are still vulnerable to frostbite and exposure, according to PETA. They can also become dehydrated when their water sources freeze.

Cold weather is especially dangerous for backyard dogs, who PETA says often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care, as well as wildlife.

Keep animals indoors

This is absolutely critical when it comes to puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, including pointers, beagles, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers. Short-haired animals will also benefit from a warm sweater or a coat on walks.

Don't allow your cat or dog to roam outdoors

During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started.

Wipe off your dogs' or cats' legs, feet, and stomachs after they come in from the snow

Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them. You should also increase animals' food rations during the winter because they burn more calories in an effort to stay warm.

Keep an eye out for stray animals

Take unidentified animals indoors until you can find their guardians or take them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call your local humane society for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.

If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements, please notify authorities

For information on what constitutes adequate shelter, click the link in the sidebar

During extreme winter weather, birds and other animals may have trouble finding food and water

Offer rations to wildlife who are caught in storms or white-outs by spreading birdseed on the ground. Provide access to liquid water by filling a heavy water bowl and breaking the surface ice twice a day. Remember to remove the food once the weather improves to encourage the animals to move on to warmer areas.

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