Despite the fur coats, pets still need protection from the cold weather |

Despite the fur coats, pets still need protection from the cold weather

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Sometimes people don’t think about their pets when it gets cold. After all, they have fur coats.

The Humane Society of the United States says despite the fur, domesticated animals including cats and dogs need protection from cold weather.

According to Humane Society experts, pets shouldn’t be left outside for long periods when it’s below freezing. Dogs need exercise, but don’t keep them out for long periods.

And short-furred dogs may need a sweater during walks.

Wind chill, the society warns, can threaten a pet even when it’s relatively warm. Outdoor dogs should have a dry, draft-free doghouse large enough to lie down in but small enough their body can heat it a bit. The house should face away from the prevailing wind and the door covered with heavy fabric or plastic. And its floor should be a few inches off the ground and covered with carpet, straw or cedar shavings.

Make sure your pet has fresh water that isn’t frozen and use plastic food and water bowls so your pet doesn’t freeze his tongue to the metal.

Warm cars are often dangerously attractive places for cats and other small wild critters who crawl under the hood seeking warmth. They can be injured or killed when the owner starts the vehicle so, the Humane Society advises, bang on the car hood before starting the engine.

Winter also brings dangers from chemicals. Salt and other substances used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s feet so wipe them every time they come in from outside.

One of the most dangerous poisons is antifreeze which fools dogs and cats because it has a sweet taste. Wipe up any spills and store antifreeze where pets can’t get to it.