Tips to protect pets in plunging temps - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Tips to protect pets in plunging temps

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – With temperatures dropping around Kentuckiana pet owners need to take extra precautions to keep their furry friends safe and warm.

In addition to keeping pets indoors the Kentucky Humane Society is asking people to remember the following tips to keep your pets happy and healthy;

  • Coolant and antifreeze are lethal for pets. Thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Avoid salt and chemical melting products. They can be toxic to animals and harmful to their paws.
  • Wipe your pet's paws and stomach when they come in out of the sleet, snow or ice. They could ingest salt, antifreeze or other dangerous chemicals while licking their paws.
  • During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine.
  • Do not let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm - dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.
  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train them inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take them outdoors only to relieve themselves.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater.
  • If you care for community, unowned cats (often called feral cats), be sure they have access to fresh water. Use deep bowls rather than wide ones and refill them with hot or warm water twice a day. Feed cats on a regular schedule and consider adding wet food, which is easier to digest and allows cats to save more energy for keeping warm. Protect them from the elements by providing cat shelters. You can build one yourself or convert Rubbermaid storage bins, Styrofoam coolers or small dog houses into shelters.

For more tips on how to protect your pets in cold weather call the Kentucky Humane Society's free Pet Help Line at (502) 509-4PET or click here.

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