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Top Ten Ways to Keep Pets Safe This Winter
Dec 19, 2012by Hannah Levin
Watch your pets closely around fireplaces and other heat sources and make sure their tails or paws do not come in contact with hot surfaces that can cause severe burns. For everyone’s safety, have your furnace checked for carbon monoxide leakage before you turn it on.
Older dogs and puppies are especially vulnerable to the cold. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise a pet’s ability to regulate their own body heat. The cold can be especially hard on the joints of older, arthritic animals who may slip on ice, so beware of conditions when you walk them.
Ensure that your pet always has easy access to fresh, non-frozen drinking water. Animals who do not often turn to gutters and puddles and may drink deadly antifreeze, oil and other chemicals. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for more information.
Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter; a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Short-haired breeds will appreciate a coat or sweater with a high collar that snuggles them from the base of the tail to the belly.
If your pooch spends a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities, increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his muscles and fur healthy.
Beware of your pet becoming trapped. Animals left outdoors can be very resourceful in trying to find shelter. They dig into snow banks and dive under porches, into window wells, and cellars where they can become trapped. Always provide warm, accessible shelter and watch them closely.
Provide your pet with a soft bed in a warm room on chilly evenings. Keep pets indoors as much as possible in cold weather. When they go out, stay with them. When you’re cold enough to go in, your pet is probably is too. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent easily and become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
Pets who roam outdoors can pick up rock salt, ice, and chemical ice melts on their foot pads. Keep your pet’s pads from getting chapped and raw (and prevent them from licking them and ingesting harmful chemicals) by wiping their feet when they come inside.
Always check under your car hood, honk, or knock on the hood of your vehicle before you start the engine. A cold kitty will curl up against almost anything–including engines–to stay warm.
Watch the ASPCA's video below for more tips on holiday safety for pets:
Jun 12, 2013:
The myth that black cats are a source of bad luck is more than just an age-old ad ism; it's a very real factor that makes in harder for ebony-haired kitties to find loving adoptive families.
Jun 12, 2013:
We knew cheetahs were fast - the fastest-moving land animals on Earth. But a recent study shows that speed isn't everything. Those top speeds, which reach 70-75 miles per hour, are not nearly as useful as being able to maneuver.
Jun 12, 2013:
Countless studies have shown that beneficial bacteria are key players when it comes to producing immunity from disease. Now, we know that dogs are like yogurt - bringing a healthy bacterial population into our lives.
Jun 12, 2013:
Dog lovers around the world will attest to the comfort and companionship that a relationship with a good dog can provide. A recent study showed that having well-behaved dogs in the workplace actually benefits both employees and employers.
Jun 12, 2013:
Good-bye crazy cat lady, hello cat fancy! Believe it or not, but cats have made a name for themselves in fashion today. From cat-eye glasses to leopard print to Hello Kitty madness, they're making strides on the cat-walk by big names like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel.
Jun 12, 2013:
Contrary to popular belief, dog paddling doesn't come naturally to all breeds, even Labradors and other sport dogs. However, with a little practice, you can teach your pet the waters skills he needs to stay safe and happy.
Jun 12, 2013:
All animals deserve love and care, especially those who have been neglected and left to fend for themselves. For all of those individuals who've rescued a lost, abandoned, or unappreciated animal, your kindness has not been overlooked and is making a bigger change than you may think.
Jun 7, 2013:
There are an awful lot of reasons to keep your kitties indoors - big predators like coyotes lurk out there, as do little irritations like fleas, and worst of all, the possibility that kitty may not come home safely. But some cats just don't like to live their entire lives inside, even if you give them plenty of play exercise, good food, kitty grass and love. Don't worry. You have options.
May 31, 2013:
Cats have elevated the stretch from a simple two-second movement of the arms to an art that yogi-masters worldwide envy. They are capable of incredible contortions in a slow, relaxed, and apparently relaxing form. Their flexibility astounds us. Clearly they know something we should learn.
May 23, 2013:
Children living with autism may see a benefit from interacting with pets. Pets are a non-threatening source of socialization, interaction, and positive engagement. In a recent study, children with autism responded with an astounding 55% more social behaviors when they were in the company of animals, as opposed to toys.
May 22, 2013:
Cats have an insatiable curiosity that hones their problem-solving skills and gets them into trouble on a pretty regular basis. Their intelligence is extraordinary, but as a house-pet, it can also lead to that most irritating of situations – boredom.
May 20, 2013:
Estimates vary, but most agree that around 70% of domestic cats are genetically predisposed to respond to catnip. The reaction tends to last around ten minutes, and is completely positive, harmless, and often quite funny. And as long as the cats are enjoying it, we may as well share in their fun.
May 13, 2013:
Getting a massage is a lovely experience that brings the gifts of relaxation, tension reduction, and freedom from muscle pain. A good massage can make us feel wonderful. So wouldn’t it make our pets feel wonderful too?
May 11, 2013:
You might take a look at this photo and wonder - what is it? A fox on stilts? Some strange variety of hyena? You wouldn't be the only person confused by this creature's strange appearance. But this decidedly unique canid is actually a distant relative to the dog and wolf...
May 7, 2013:
Put a cat in a room with a simple cardboard box, and entertainment for both people and pets is pretty much guaranteed. This classic combination almost invariably keeps cats happy, and makes cat owners giggle and pull out a recording device. Even the cat that initially ignores the allure of the cardboard box is likely to be drawn back to it time and again - often when he thinks no one is watching.
May 1, 2013:
He'll never call and cancel at the last minute. He'll never fail to show up for an early-morning jog. He is the most loyal and loving exercise companion you can have. It's not your spouse or your friend - it's your dog!
Apr 29, 2013:
Nope, not poker, thank goodness. The new rage appears to be cats playing piano! YouTube videos of cats playing piano are showing up and going viral, ranging from Nora's dreamy tones, to the gentle plinking of twin tabbies, to the tentative bass of a curious orange tabby.
Apr 26, 2013:
Children are no strangers to standing up for homeless pets. They are known for slipping sandwich crusts to the homeless dog that dared to enter school grounds, somehow finding the time and patience to make friends with the cats everyone thought were feral and untamable, and begging endlessly to bring home a cat or a dog from the shelter. Now, children in Colorado are taking it to the next level.
Apr 24, 2013:
Anyone who has ever had a kitten knows that they are constantly getting into trouble. But in the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne, passers-by and traffic cameras caught sight of a tiny kitten in serious trouble: the little orange tabby somehow found himself halfway down the 2.1 mile car tunnel.
Apr 22, 2013:
Cats are notoriously enigmatic. Our mysterious little beasties cuddle and purr one minute, and the next, they are territorial guardians spitting at our windows, or wild hunters slinking furtively through the underbrush. But a rising interest in what our feline friends do with their spare time has combined with ever-smaller bits of useful technology to create some answers – finally – for cat lovers of all kinds.
Apr 12, 2013:
Sometime during the course of a dark February night, a wild bobcat found himself wandering through Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington. He climbed into a tall, comfortable tree to relax... and woke up in the park's off-leash area!
Apr 10, 2013:
We all know that dogs have an amazing sense of smell. Their noses have been recruited to help humans find everything from contraband to cancer, not to mention the heroic search and rescue dogs that use their talents to save lives. But dogs may be more reliable sniff detectors than previously thought.
Apr 1, 2013:
The wolf is a beautiful creature, the closest modern relative to our pet dogs, and yet different at a visceral level. The dog has come into our homes and hearts, but the wolf remains a wonderfully wild animal.
Mar 28, 2013:
When the ZSL London Zoo added a new pair of critically endangered Sumatran tigers to their population, they put them on the map. The Cat Map. The zoo decided to put together an interactive survey of pet cats living in London. They created the Cat Map.
Mar 26, 2013:
hen you think about the faithful Labrador Retriever, you might think about their sweet, goofy expressions and lolling tongues, or how perfect they are with children, with other adults, with pretty much anyone, really: the classic, intelligent, loyal, family dog. But did you know that the Lab is also the ultimate trouble-maker?
Mar 6, 2013:
Mieshelle Nagelschneider, ACCBC, is a cat behaviorist. She has been helping cat owners with behavior problems for more than twenty years, has a regular column on The Animal Rescue Site, and now she brings her expertise to us in a brand new book: The Cat Whisperer (Random House Publishing).
Mar 4, 2013:
Kishi station in Kinokawa is at the end of the line – the Kishigawa line in Japan. Financial troubles and a lack of passengers almost shut the station down. Then, a whimsical informal station manager made friends with the stray cats in the area. One of them was a friendly little calico named Tama.
Jan 25, 2013:
Conventional wisdom suggests that dog's age approximately seven years every calendar year, giving rise to the notion of the "dog year." How much merit is there to this pervasive rule of thumb?
Jan 20, 2013:
13-year-old Kiki had been muzzled by his owners and left in an abandoned moving van along with two cats and two other dogs. Despite having his ability to bark suppressed by the muzzle, he remained determined to find a way to call for help.
Jan 11, 2013:
Narcolepsy, affecting an estimated 200,000 Americans, (though only 50,000 have actually been diagnosed) puts a damper on both the social and work lives of those hit by this condition. Now, (hu)man's best friend is coming to the rescue.
Jan 8, 2013:
Diving into 2013 with a resolve to live better is an admirable endeavor that should include our furry friends. Here are our top ten resolutions for pets (and an important one for their owners.
Jan 7, 2013:
More and more pet stores are committing to an adoption-only model, opting instead to help find forever homes for rescue pets. Recently, the Humane Society celebrated a milestone when the 2,000th pet store joined their "Puppy Friendly Pet Store" program, a growing list of pet stores that refuse to sell commercially bred puppies.
Jan 7, 2013:
There are plenty of types of dogs, both domestic and wild, but have you heard of this one, the rare singing dog of New Guinea? Thought to have been extinct in it's mountain habitat, this will be the first time this canine creature has been sighted in 23 years.
Dec 31, 2012:
Charlie Head, a water sports enthusiast, was paddling past some rocks along the Kent coast when he spotted a Shih Tzu stranded on a rock. Molly had been lost for two days after slipping out of her collar but is now home safe with her family.
Dec 31, 2012:
A Las Vegas research team found fossils from dire wolves from the ice age in a part of North America where they hadn't been documented. Dire wolves, now extinct, were heavier and larger than today's wolf, with a smaller brain and longer teeth...
Dec 21, 2012:
Did you happen to choose the color of your cat based on what you've heard their personality type would be like? It may sound funny but just like humans, cats have been judged by their color too! A study by University of California Berkley researchers have found a popular assumption that orange cats are friendly, black cats are evil, and white cats to be big snobs.
Dec 20, 2012:
Cats can be sneaky, so it's not a surprise that this one has been hiding behind the scenes up until now. Most recently, the Beni Savannas nature reserve in Bolivia recovering from cattle ranching experienced a rare sighting of the elusive Pampas Cat!
Dec 17, 2012:
Old dogs can be incredibly sweet and affectionate, but often have special needs. As the world of rescue grows, an increasing number of shelters are specializing in senior adoptions, while the field of veterinary medicine and the pet product industry are increasingly invested in showing animal lovers how to best care for these loving and loyal companions.
Nov 24, 2012:
Jasper, a ten-year-old dachshund, was paralyzed after he was hit by a car. The injury caused his hind legs to stop working, and he needed help getting around. But Jasper is now walking on his own again, thanks to a test of a new trial treatment at Cambridge University.
Nov 21, 2012:
Every day, more shelters are teaming up with pet stores to ensure that rescued animals are being seen by as many people as possible. When customers come in, they pass a special section of the store dedicated to pets in need of a home.