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Help your pet weather the weather

Every year the Humane Society of Central Oregon sees cats and dogs with frostbite and are urging people to keep their pets safe during the often harsh winter weather.

So, what do you do to keep your animals safe when the cold weather hits? There are many options depending on the size, age and species of your pet.

“You need to be prepared ahead of time,” said Lynne Ouchida, Community Outreach Manager at the Humane Society of Central Oregon, explaining that when the snow hits, there isn’t always enough time to prepare. It is also imperative that if dogs are often outside, they have access to  fresh water that won’t freeze, such as in a heated water bowl.

Once a dog is outside, it needs to be protected from the cold and from other hazards as well. Ice and ice melt are both potentially hazardous for a dog’s paws. Ouchida recommends doggy booties.

“They’re not just a wintertime investment,” Ouchida explained. “They can be used for protection against hot pavement in the summer as well as ice shards in the winter.”

Ouchida also recommends that small, senior and single-coated dogs be given dog sweaters or jackets.

“They’re more than just a fashion statement,” Ouchida said.

If you can’t find someone to let your dog out for you once a day, another option is crate training. “Crate training is a great idea,” said Kate Bolinger, local pet-owner who has worked in the field of veterinary medicine for over 20 years. Bolinger explained that crate training a dog not only keeps them inside and warm, but also keeps them from destroying a house or apartment.

“Most dogs can last the whole day in a crate,” said Bolinger. However, she recommends introducing a dog to a crate in small increments, starting with five minutes.

Cats also have trouble with cold in the winter.

“Wandering cats may hunker down under the hood of car,” Ouchida said. That often leads to a cat getting caught in moving parts when a car is started. “Tap the hood of a car to scare away any cats.”

 

Juli Wright | The Broadside

(Contact: jwright6@cocc.edu)

[Edited by Erika]

 

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