Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe During the Winter Months

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GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – The winter months can take its toll on pets.

As the temperature drops in upstate South Carolina, the Humane Society wants to make sure people keep the safety of their pets in mind.

Freezing rain, sleet and snow are all circumstances that can be encountered during the winter months. Often, pets are the last to escape these weather conditions.

“You know, they can have frostbite just like us,” said Rachel Delport, executive director of the Greenville Humane Society.

This is one of the reasons the Humane Society is sharing ways in which pet owners can help their four-legged friends when the temperature drops.

“Make sure that you are, you know, a pet owner, by providing them with all the resources that you would want to keep them happy and healthy,” Delport said.

First of all, the Humane Society advises you to keep your pets safe. This involves making sure that there is a warm space above the cold ground, with some sort of blanket.

According to the organization, just because they have fur does not mean they can withstand cold temperatures.

“If your pet lives outdoors full time, make sure they have appropriate housing,” said Julia Brunelle, senior director of communications at the Greenville Humane Society. “You want to make sure your doghouse is the right size. If you have a dog that spends a lot of time in this shelter and that is what he relies on and there is too much space inside, then it can actually let all the air in. cold.

According to the Humane Society, it is recommended that pets have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand up and turn around, but small enough to retain body heat. The organization said it had a layer of straw or other bedding material to insulate them from the cold.

If an animal lives outdoors, make sure it has access to cool water and is not frozen.

The Humane Society also recommends being aware of what is happening on the ground.

When weather conditions worsen, local emergency management uses salt and ice control products to treat roads and driveways.

“Also make sure your pet doesn’t step in it. If they have contact, be sure to wash your paws, ”Delport said. “You don’t want them to ingest this because it could make them very sick and it can help break those little paws and make them very uncomfortable for them.”

Just in case an animal escapes the house, make sure it’s microchipped.

“If it’s cold or snowing they are having a hard time following and finding their way back, so keep that in mind,” Delport said.

It doesn’t matter if a pet lives indoors or outdoors, the Humane Society encourages an owner to keep safety in mind.

“I certainly hope that when people look at the situation with their animals, they do for them what they would do for themselves,” said Brunelle.

Always remember that if a human is cold then a pet is probably cold too.

Here is additional advice from the American Humane Society on how to protect your pets:

  • When bathing your dogs in cold weather, make sure they are completely dry before you take them out for a walk or walk.
  • When walking your dogs in bad weather, keep them on a leash. It’s easier for a dog to get lost in winter storm conditions – more dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.
  • Keep your pets on a leash if you have frozen ponds, lakes, or rivers nearby, as roaming pets can break ice and quickly succumb to hypothermia before trained ice rescue personnel. could happen. Never try to save an animal on the ice yourself – leave that to trained professionals.
  • When working on housebreaking your new puppy, remember that puppies are more susceptible to colds than adult dogs. In cold weather or bad weather, you may need to opt for paper training your new pet rather than taking the puppy outside.
  • Keep your cats indoors. Cats can freeze in cold weather without shelter. Sometimes cats left outside in cold weather seek shelter and warmth under the hoods of automobiles and are injured or killed when the ignition is turned on. Hitting the hood of your car loudly several times before starting the engine will save you from a tragic situation. (This is also true for wild animals in cold weather).
  • When you take your pets out for a toilet break, stick with them. If it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s probably too cold for your pets as well.
  • If your pet is outside in cold weather:
    • Remember, keeping warm requires extra calories. Outdoor animals generally need more calories in the winter, so feed them accordingly when the temperature drops. Consult your veterinarian for advice on an appropriate diet.


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