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Cold Weather: Protecting Your Pets

KEYE-TV - keyetv.com :: Weather - Weather Guides - Cold Weather: Protecting Your Pets

Cold Weather: Protecting Your Pets

When temperatures drop, the furry family members will usually need a little special attention. The city of Austin Health and Human Services Department offers these tips for keeping dogs and cats safe during chilly weather.

The department advises that all cats should be brought inside and most dogs will be safer indoors. When the mercury falls below 32 degrees, all animals can be seriously at risk if left outdoors.

If dogs are kept outside, it's critical to provide a dry, draft-free doghouse that's big enough for the dog. Its doorway should be covered with burlap, tarp, or plastic that will preserve the dog's body heat. The floor of a doghouse should be raised a few inches above the ground, the department says, and the floor does best when covered with straw or cedar shavings.

The city has free doghouses available for qualifying families. To request a doghouse, families can call 311 (the non-emergency resource number) or contact the city during normal business hours.

A few other tips include giving pets more food than usual if they are exposed to cold because pets use a lot of energy to keep warm. Also, experts recommend using a plastic dish as opposed to metal because, in the event of a freeze, a pet's tongue can stick to metal.

Also -- remember -- pets tend to like the taste of anti-freeze that is often used during freezing weather in automobiles. And it can kill them.

As always, the department warns, when using anti-freeze, store it in a closed container and keep it out of reach before taking it to the city's Household Hazardous Waste Facility located at 2514 Business Center Drive.

More information from the ASPCA.



 
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