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Our Opinion: When temperatures drop, look out for your pets

January 11, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

You wouldn't let members of your family suffer out in the cold during the winter, so make sure your pets are warm as well.

With temperatures dropping this past week, it's a good time to remind yourself your pets depend on you for everything. That includes food, water, daily exercise, vaccinations, other veterinary care and medicine.

But this time of year, it's keeping them safe and warm most of us need to remember. It can be a matter of discomfort at the least and a life-and-death situation at the most.

Dogs have fur coats, but they still need shelter, especially when temperatures dip below freezing.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:

• When your dog is outside, give it a shelter that's warm, dry and draft-free. A good dog house with a cover over the opening gives your pets the option to stay warm and dry whenever they wish. Provide dry bedding, whether straw or blankets.

• Make sure they have access to food and fresh -- not frozen -- water. Like humans, pets can quickly become dehydrated if they don't have water. And animals burn more calories trying to stay warm, so make sure they have enough food.

• Keep your pets on your property or on a leash. Within the city limits, it's the law. One particular problem with letting pets run wild in the winter is snow can throw off their sense of smell, making it hard for them to find their way home.

• When walking your dog, avoid bodies of frozen water. Like people, they can fall through a lake's thin ice. Slipping on ice can also cause injuries to animals.

• Antifreeze is poisonous to children and animals, despite its sweet taste. Make sure it's not accessible.

Following these common-sense tips will keep your pets healthy and happy during winter and throughout the year.

News Tribune

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