Adverse weather conditions combined with a winter storm warning require action from pet owners.
Cold weather can be as dangerous for pets, as it is for humans. Pets have a more difficult time regulating their body temperatures and may be more susceptible to problems from extreme temperatures.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather.
Keep your pets indoors during this snowstorm. If left unattended outdoors they can get frostbite or become disorientated and freeze to death. Hypothermia can result from extended exposure to cold and is life-threatening condition.
Be Alert to Frostbite: Skin can turn red, white or gray and scaly. If you suspect frostbite, contact your vet immediately.
Be Aware of Exposure Time: Dogs who are ill, old, very young, or shorthaired cannot endure prolonged exposure to winter weather. Take them out only to relieve themselves. Many dogs need boots in winter weather, regardless of coat length. If your dog frequently lifts up his paws, whines or stops on his walks, his feet are uncomfortably cold and may need dog booties for his paws.
Remember, clean your pet’s feet. Salt can irritate or burn, as well as causing vomiting and in some pets can even cause seizures. Antifreeze has a sweet, attractive smell to pets and can be deadly if ingested.
Dog House: Dogs left outdoors in inclement weather must be provided with shelter appropriate to breed, physical condition and the climate. Minimum standards for adequate shelter include a permanent structure with a waterproof roof, structural soundness, and sufficient insulation to protect from the inclement weather, space to make normal postural movements, freedom from excessive dirt, trash, or waste, and a clean surrounding area that does not threaten the well-being.
The Suffolk County SPCA recommends keeping your pets inside. Be careful with cats. Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats who may crawl under the hood. Bang on the hood before starting the car to scare them away.
If you have bunnies who live outside, make sure they have a warm, dry hutch with plenty of bedding that is out of the wind. Water is important too as is some extra food. Cover the hutch with a tarp.
Remember this is the law and will be enforced! If you feel cold so does your pet.