Cold Weather Tips
When winter temperatures dip below zero, we need to take extra steps to ensure our pets' well-being. The following tips will help you keep your pet safe and warm in sub-zero temperatures.
Bring All Pets Indoors: The Anti-Cruelty Society recommends that all of your pets live indoors with you. If you do have a pet that spends most of its time outdoors, bring them indoors during sub-zero temperatures. Frostbite can set in very rapidly and may lead to death.Most dogs need to go outdoors to eliminate. Make their time outdoors as brief as possible by allowing your dog to eliminate and then bring them back indoors.
Frostbite: Even though companion animals have a fur coat, most cats and dogs cannot endure the cold of winter for more than 10 to 15 minutes. A companion animal left outdoors can get frostbite and even freeze to death. Signs of frostbite include skin that is pale and cool to the touch, with decreased sensation in the affected area. If you suspect frostbite, gently warm the area with warm--not hot--water and then take the animal to your veterinarian. Once an area has been frozen it becomes more susceptible to cold and frostbite.
Ice, Salt, and Snow: Jagged ice and sidewalk salt can injure or irritate your dog's foot pads. After you return home from a walk, check the foot pads and wipe off any salt or ice with a damp towel. Also dry your dog thoroughly whenever he or she comes in from the snow.
Anti-Freeze: Animals are attracted to this substance by its sweet taste. It can be fatal if ingested, so keep all anti-freeze bottles out of your pet's reach. Also be sure to clean up any spills in your garage or driveway immediately. If your cat or dog should swallow anti-freeze--or any poison--contact your veterinarian immediately.
Car Engines: In cold weather, cats allowed outdoors may crawl beneath cars and climb up inside the engines seeking warmth and shelter. This can lead to injuries or death when the engines are started. To prevent such an occurrence, keep your cat indoors at all times. To protect stray cats, knock on your car's hood or sound your horn before starting the car in cold weather.
It’s the Law: According to The Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare, “If your dog lives outside, your dog must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal."
If you see an animal in need or witness an animal being mistreated, please contact our humane investigators at email@example.com or call 312-644-8338 ext. 304.