While we bundle up this weekend and limit our time outdoors as bitter temps descend upon Western New York, remember that your pets also depend on you to keep them safe, warm, and protected during these cold spells.
Here are a few reminders to keep our furry friends happy and comfortable:
- Keep animals indoors, especially puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and most dogs with short hair. 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 pets' 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 their food rations during the winter as they burn more calories in an effort to stay warm.
- 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.