Bad weather can be a tough time for everybody, especially your pets. Domestic dogs & cats are not equipped for severe winter storms even with their winter coats. During a blizzard, pets should stay safely indoors & wait out the storm. As temperatures plummet and gusts of frigid wind bring snow, rain, and sleet these conditions are not safe for pets. Here are some safety tips for you and your pets.
- Keep your dogs indoors as much as possible during winter months, but this is especially true with an impending storm. Bring them inside immediately and limit their time outside for brief bathroom trips.
- Be prepared: Stock up on activities, food, water, and any medicine they may need.
- Prepare for a power outage, especially if your family includes fish, reptiles or pocket pets.
- When they do go out, make sure they’re prepared: depending on their breed, coat thickness and size they may need a coat. During severe storms, most dogs need extra protection from wind and rain. If they have sensitive paws make sure they’re wearing their booties or other protective foot care. Melting salt can be very painful to their feet.
- Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent in the snow and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure your dog always wears an ID tag or better yet is microchipped.
- Thoroughly wipe your dog’s legs, feet, and stomach after walking in sleet, snow or ice. Although snow may be white it can contain numerous air pollutants that are harmful when ingested. They might ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws. Their paw pads may also get cut and bleed from contact with snow or encrusted ice.
- If your large dog spends most of his time outside, take proper precautions during the colder months. Make sure your dog has an insulated and waterproof dog house and access to fresh water. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dog. Never leave your dog outside during a snowstorm or inclement weather including sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme cold.
- If you have more than one pet, consider keeping them separated, even if they usually get along. Storms and anxiety can cause pets to behave unpredictably.
- If you see a pet in distress, report it. If you see animal cruelty in progress, call your local police station, animal control office or 911.
If you have any questions or concerns about winter storm weather safety contact Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital at 201-646-2008 or visit us at www.meadowlandsvethospital.com