• By Kelly Nash
  • Posted Friday, December 4, 2009

Cold Weather Tips

Forsyth County Animal Control would like to remind pet owners that when the weather outside turns cold and icy, it is their responsibility to see that their animals do not suffer from the change in the environmental conditions.

FCC 6-1 Abuse
(6) Failing to provide an adequate shelter for an animal wherein the animal can be protected from extremes of weather (heat, cold, rain, sun, etc.), physical suffering, and impairment of health, and which is large enough to allow the animal to make normal body movements;
(7) For animals which are kept outside, under weather conditions which adversely affect the animal’s health, failing to provide a shelter for the animal which is surrounded on three (3) sides, covered by a roof, and has a floor (excluding barns), and which is structurally sound, maintained in good repair, and constructed in such a manner that it is water and wind resistant;

Here are some tips on how to keep your pet safe and healthy this winter.

  • 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. Before starting the engine, bang loudly on the car hood to give the cat a chance to escape.
  • Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm--dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure they always wear I.D. tags.
  • Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
  • Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck that covers the dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath. While this may seem like a luxury, it is a necessity for many dogs.
  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If necessary, paper train your puppy inside if he appears to be sensitive to the weather.
  • If your dog spends a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities, increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

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