Help Battle “Old Man Winter”
Allow animals inside, particularly puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, such as pointers, beagles, Rottweilers, pit bulls, and Dobermans. When they do go outside, short-haired animals will benefit from a cozy sweater or coat.
Provide dogs who spend time outside with proper shelter. Ideally, doghouses should be made of wood (plastic doesn’t insulate as well, and metal conducts cold) and should be positioned in a sunny location during cold weather. Raise the house off the ground several inches, and put a flap over the door to keep out cold drafts. Use straw for bedding; rugs and blankets can get wet and freeze.
Make sure that dog tethers are untangled and away from trees and objects that would prevent the animal from getting into a doghouse.
Don’t allow your cat or dog to roam freely outdoors. During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started. (To help prevent this, bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting the engine.) Animals are also attracted to deadly antifreeze and can become disoriented when there is snow or ice on the ground. More animals are lost during the winter than during any other season.
Increase animals’ food rations during winter (they are burning more calories to keep warm). Also, be sure that animals are free of internal parasites, which can rob them of vital nutrients.