Friday, 10 November 2017

Cold Weather Tips for Animal Caregivers

To prepare for falling temperatures, Animal Friends urges anyone who owns or cares for outdoor animals – including feral cats – to take the time to ensure they will be safe and warm during the cold months ahead.

While Animal Friends encourages pet owners to make pets part of the family and keep them inside the home, we recognize that in reality many animals live outside. So, we want to educate those caretakers about how to ensure that outdoor animals have access to proper food and warm, dry shelters.

Blankets, towels and pillows can retain moisture and freeze, which is why straw is the best insulation against the cold and wet weather conditions.

In addition to keeping outdoor animals’ living spaces insulated, there are other best practices pet owners should abide by, including:

• Using a car mat or rug as a flap over a doghouse door to keep the inside free of wind, snow and rain.
• Examining shelters carefully – and often – to ensure that there are no cracks or holes that will prevent the structure from keeping the animal safe.
• Taking extra care to provide adequate amounts of drinkable water and food at all times during freezing temperatures.
• Inspecting your pet's paws, ears and tail frequently for signs of frostbite – a very common occurrence. If you suspect frostbite, your pet will need to see a veterinarian immediately.
• Monitoring your dog's tether to ensure it is not frozen to the ground or tangled. A tangled chain that is too short can cost your pet his or her life in bad weather.

Animal Friends is hosting its annual Straw Drop, during which free bags of straw are offered to anyone who owns or cares for outdoor animals – including feral cats.

Free bags of straw can be picked up at Animal Friends seven days a week.

Together, we can make certain that once the cold winter weather arrives, the animals in our region will have a safe, warm and cozy place to go!

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