Suffolk SPCA Offers Blizzard Pet Safety Tips

If you feel cold, so do your pets.
If you feel cold, so do your pets. Photo credit: Oliver Peterson

With a severe storm on its way to the East End to blanket the area with 8 to 10 inches of snow, the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants pet owners to be conscious of their pets’ health and safety.

The Suffolk SPCA says to keep pets indoors during the cold weather and notes that hypothermia can result from extended exposure to cold and is a life-threatening condition.

Read on for further warnings and advice from the Suffolk SPCA:

• Be Alert to Frostbite: Skin can turn red, white or gray and scaly. If you suspect frostbite, contact your vet immediately.

• Be Aware of Exposure Time: Dogs who are ill, old, very young, or shorthaired cannot endure prolonged exposure to winter weather. Take them out only to relieve themselves. Many dogs need boots in winter weather, regardless of coat length. If your dog frequently lifts up his paws, whines or stops on his walks, his feet are uncomfortably cold and may need dog booties for his paws.

• Dog House: Dogs left outdoors in inclement weather must be provided with shelter appropriate to breed, physical condition and the climate. Minimum standards for adequate shelter include a permanent structure with a waterproof roof, structural soundness, and sufficient insulation to protect from the inclement weather, space to make normal postural movements, freedom from excessive dirt, trash, or waste, and a clean surrounding area that does not threaten the well-being.

• If you have bunnies who live outside, make sure they have a warm, dry hutch with plenty of bedding that is out of the wind. Water is important too as is some extra food. Cover the hutch with a tarp.

• For outdoor pets, make sure your pet has fresh, non-frozen drinking water available. And remember, clean your pet’s feet. Salt can irritate or burn, as well as causing vomiting and in some pets can even cause seizures. Antifreeze has a sweet, attractive smell to pets and can be deadly if ingested.

• Remember if you feel cold so do your pets.

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