VANDERBURGH HUMANE SOCIETY URGES PUBLIC TO PROTECT PETS DURING COLD WINTER MONTHS
(Evansville, IN – January 21, 2008) As the threat of winter weather heads towards the Tri-State, it’s important to make sure your pets are prepared. Temperatures have recently dipped below the freezing mark, and not much of a warm-up is in sight. The absolute best way to protect your pet is to keep them indoors with their family. However, if this is not an option, there are things you can do to make your pet as safe and comfortable as possible this winter. • If keeping your pet inside is not an option, consider bringing them into a basement or garage. • Pets need plenty of shelter to get relief from the elements. Pet houses should be free from holes with a good roof. It’s helpful if the door is off center, so the wind is blocked. Use something like heavy burlap to create a flap over the door. The pet house should be elevated so snow or rain doesn’t come in the door. The house should be insulated with straw, instead of blankets that can become wet and freeze stiff. Consider adding a dog door to the garage with a bed in the warmest corner. • A bowl of frozen water can’t help a thirsty pet. Check your pet’s water dish frequently. Outdoor dishes should not be metal, as your pet’s tongue could freeze to the bowl. Heated water dishes are not expensive and are available at almost all pet supply stores. They will prevent the water from freezing in the dish. • Outdoor pets need more calories in the winter to produce body heat. Increase the amount of food you feed your outside pet. On the other hand, indoor pets may get less exercise in the cold months and will need fewer calories. • Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s paws. Wipe them off carefully to prevent burns and before your pet licks them clean. • Antifreeze is a poison. Unfortunately its sweet taste attracts animals and children. Clean up spills thoroughly and keep the deadly chemical out of reach of pets and children. Pet safe antifreeze is available. • Warm car engines attract cats who crawl under the hood. Even if you are not a pet owner, bang on the hood of your vehicle before starting your engine.