The best place for pets to be is inside with you! If this isn't possible and they have to remain outside during the bitter cold, please follow these recommendations:
- Please make sure they have shelter from the weather. Dog/cat houses should be elevated two inches off the ground, and a plastic flap installed at the opening to cut down on wind from reaching the pet.
- Dog/cat houses should be heavily lined with straw. Do not use blankets or towels to line housing, as once these items become wet/damp they will freeze. I have seen this happen and the blankets and towels will become solid sheets of ice.
- Animals require higher caloric intake when housed outside during winter months. Feed them more! In addition, it is critical pets always have access to clean, fresh water. Pets cannot obtain adequate hydration by eating or licking snow.
- Antifreeze can be fatal if ingested by pets. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has been exposed to antifreeze.
- Make sure your pets have ID tags on them at all times. According to the ASPCA, more pets are lost during winter months than any other time of the year.
- Knock on your car’s hood and honk your horn before driving in the event a cat has climbed inside the engine compartment seeking warmth and shelter.
- Remember, the law requires pet owners to provide their animals with proper protection from the elements. For pet owners who don’t have the resources to provide their pets proper protection, No More Homeless Pets KC can help.