Tips on how to prepare your pets for winter weather - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Tips on how to prepare your pets for winter weather

HAYTI, MO (KAIT) -

As temperatures continue to fall, the Pemiscot County Animal Welfare Society is reminding all pet owners to prepare care for your animals before the freezing temperatures and wintry weather sets in.

“Obviously the best-case scenario is to bring your animal indoors,” shelter manager Erma Page said. “But we know that it is just not feasible for some people.”

Page advised that if you can’t bring your animals in, you should consider fixing up a shed or garage for them to stay warm in.

If you don’t have a place like that available, Page said you should winterize the animal’s outdoor shelter.

“It is most important that animals have a dry, warm place to get out of the elements,” she said. “Face dog houses to the south so cold winds don’t come in and keep dry, warm bedding in the house.”

She also suggested that outside cats have shelters made out of plate storage bins or Styrofoam coolers.

You also need to check your animals’ food and water often because it can freeze quickly.

“You can buy heated bowls, but in lieu of that, place the food where it can stay dry and check and change the water frequently if it freezes,” Page said.

Animals can suffer from walking on ice and snow, so it is important to make sure you clean and check their paws frequently.

Any animal that is showing signs of lethargy or illness when out in the elements needs to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

“If you see anything of concern with your outdoor pets, you need to call your vet quickly and follow his or her instructions on how to warm the animal,” Page said. “Animals can die very quickly once their body temperature starts to fall.”

There are also other hazards associated with pets during cold weather.

Cats tend to try to find warm places and that can mean crawling up in wheel wells of cars or under the hood.

“We follow a ‘honk and knock’ policy,” Page said. “Always knock on your hood and honk your horn before starting your car to move the cats. We have seen many cats come in injured after they have been in a car hood.”

Page said that anyone who has question could call the shelter at (573) 359-0113 or contact your veterinarian.

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