Written by: Melanie Benson, volunteer
With this week’s chilly start and flurries seen throughout the DMV, there’s no arguing that winter is here. Whether the season fills you with childlike delight or causes you to grumble and count down the days until Spring, the cold and snow require us all to take precautions to stay safe and warm. While family members bundle up, it’s important not to forget our four-legged, furry friends.
Dealing with the low temperatures, snow and ice are difficult on our pets. The Red Cross and the Humane Society offer the following advice to help ensure that every member of our family stays healthy during this difficult time of year:
- If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water
- If animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles
- Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth
- Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach
The Red Cross also offers Pet First Aid classes for pet owners interested in learning more and taking further action to keep their pets safe in the winter. These classes teach pet owners the skills necessary to tend to unexpected emergencies until they can get their pet to a veterinarian. Search for a class in your area here!