Southern Californians are not accustomed to cold weather and neither are our pets. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) urges all pet companions to take preventative measures to protect their pets during cold weather. Keep pets inside and do not leave pets unattended inside a vehicle. Cold temperatures can be just as fatal to pets as hot.
Read on for tips to protect your pets.
- Have your pet microchipped with up-to-date registration and keep current identification tags on your pets at all times.
- Keep your pets indoors – they are safer inside.
- Pets should have a warm, dry, comfortable place to sleep, preferably on a nice pet bed, cushion, or a palette of blankets. Add a heated pet pad for extra warmth.
- Dry wet paws, legs, and stomach after being outside.
- Always keep your dog on-leash during daily walks.
- Dogs of all sizes can benefit from a sweater or jacket to keep them warm. Make sure clothing is for dogs and is the right size and fit.
- Keep an eye on pets who are older or ill, as they are more sensitive to colder weather.
- Brush your pet regularly to promote a healthier coat and circulation. Heaters make indoor air drier during the colder months, which depletes moisture from your pet’s skin and fur.
- Add blankets to your pet’s emergency preparedness kit.
- Be sure your pets are secure in a crate or with a pet seat belt harness when driving. Skidding with an unsecured pet could be catastrophic.
- Feral cats or small wildlife may seek refuge in warm automobile engines. Check before starting the engine.
- Never leave your pet inside a car during cold weather. Just as in the summer, when temperatures rise inside cars, in the winter temperatures drop.
- Don’t leave your pet unattended with a portable heater.