Keep your pets safe in the cold weather

A dog at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center December 28th, 2017.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Humans aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of the cold. The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center is reminding pet owners to prepare their four-legged companions for winter.

Animal care control officer supervisor Bob Sexton says, “They may not be able to verbalize it, but by looking at them you’ll pick up signs that they are experiencing some ill effects from the weather.”

Sexton and the Animal Resource Center shared these tips for preparing your pet for the elements:

  • Keep pets dry and warm: The most obvious option is inside your house, if possible. Sexton says even outdoor animals need a dry, elevated shelter and clean, dry bedding with a flap over the opening to prevent drafts.
  • Adequate food and water access: Check outdoor water bowls to make sure they are not frozen. Outdoor pets need more calories to stay warm in the winter, but the Animal Resource Center also recommends limiting calories to indoor pets that get less exercise in the winter.
  • Be wary of winter chemicals: Ice melt products can irritate an animal’s paws, so you need to wipe them after being outside or outfit them with special boots. Antifreeze tastes good to pets, but is a deadly chemical and should be cleaned up if spilled.
  • Watch for pets near vehicles: Animals, especially cats, may crawl under your car near a warm engine. The ARC says to check for pets, or even bang on your hood, before starting the engine.
  • Tag and license pets: Sexton says the ARC shelter takes in numerous stray pets during the winter months. State law requires a pet license and Sexton urges owners to attach identifying tags to a collar, so pet and owner can easily reunite if separated.

You can find out more about the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, including licensing information here.

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