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WINTER SAFETY TIPS FOR PETS AND COMMUNITY CATS

Exposure to winter's dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren't the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet's health, please heed the following advice from the experts at: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/cold-weather-safety-tips

Although we rarely have freezing weather or snow in and around Phoenix, other parts of Arizona do. In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Regardless, make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these simple guidelines.

Keep pets sheltered

Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.

If your dog is outdoors much of the day for any reason, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. 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; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Remove common poisons

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately and keep it, like all household chemicals, out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

Dogs are at particular risk of salt poisoning in winter due to the rock salt used in many areas—often when licking it from their paws after a walk. Store de-icing salt in a safe place and wipe your dog's paws, even after short walks. If your dog ingests rock salt, call a veterinarian immediately.

Protect outdoor animals

If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It's easy to give them a hand.

You can make your own cat shelter quickly and easily with a plastic tub. Heated animal shelters can be purchased from places like Amazon and more.

Cars are one of many hazards to small animals-warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away and honk the horn before starting your engine (but look for oncoming traffic first).

ALLEY CAT ALLIES ON PROTECTING FERALS/COMMUNITY CATS IN THE WINTER:

See detailed tips on feeding, making shelters and more by clicking on this link:
Alley Cat Link

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