Freezing temperatures are sweeping across much of the United States with Nebraska seeing below-zero temperatures. And while many are thinking about the things to keep their cars running or the number of layers needed to stay warm outdoors, they may be forgetting their furry friends.
The ASPCA is urging pet owners to take extra precautions during these cold, snowy stretches to keep their pets safe.
The group is urging pet owners to develop an emergency plan that accounts for thesafety of their animals, to stay up to date on community storm warnings, and tocheck with the local emergency management office for importantinformation.
They also offer the following tips to keep pets safe during extreme winter weather
- If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet. Never leave your pet outside during a snowstorm for longer than you would want to be out there with them.
- Don't let your dog off leash after heavy snowfall, as they can easily become lost.
- Clean off your dog's paws and belly with a moist washcloth after going outside. Snow-melting salt can be very painful to dogs' feet and can make them ill if ingested. Clumps of snow can accumulate between toes and cause pain as well. Dog boots and salves can be purchased to protect sensitive dog paws.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. They also recommends micro-chipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification.
- During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep underneath cars for shelter. Bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give any resting cats a chance to escape.
- If you lose power, be sure candles aren't in a location where your pet can knock them over.
The ASPCA also offered tips to keep pets from becoming too bored from the extra indoor time. They suggest giving your pet a toy stuffed with food and keep toys on a rotation so they feel new again after each swap.
Dogs and cats can also get some exercise indoors through play or by running up and down stairs, though caution should be used to avoid injury.