8 Winter Pet Care Tips

January/February 2007
http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/8-winter-pet-care-tips.aspx



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Winter is a tough time for us all, but it can be especially hard on pets. Here are a few tips for protecting your pets this winter:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible during cold weather. Like humans, animals can get frostbite.

  • If a dog stays outside for the winter, it is important to provide an insulated home. Line the floor with cedar shavings or straw to ensure warmth. Check water often to make sure it has not frozen.

  • If your dog begins to shiver when you're out for a walk, bring it inside immediately.

  • Trim the long hair on the bottom of pets' feet to prevent ice balls from forming.

  • Road salt and other de-icing chemicals are damaging to pets' paws, and can be hazardous if ingested; wash your pets' paws after being outdoors. Use sand or a nontoxic alternative to salt when dealing with icy sidewalks.

  • Antifreeze is a poison, yet its sweet taste unfortunately attracts curious animals. Always clean any spills thoroughly. Or try a safer alternative, such as antifreeze made with propylene glycol.

  • Cats and wildlife seek shelter from warmth by crawling into available covered spaces, including vehicles. Banging on the hood of your car before starting the engine should scare out any stowaways.

  • Our smaller friends, such as birds, hamsters and guinea pigs, can be chilled if their cages are kept in drafty areas. Keep cages away from doors and windows in winter.