Is Your Animal Shelter Ready For the Cooler Months To Came

October 13, 2014

Before winter arrives, you will need to take time to protect the animals for the winter. Not only is your shelter responsible for keeping them warm, but you must prevent animals under your care from ingesting salt and antifreeze.
Have Medical Checkups Performed
Before winter starts, consider performing as many medical checkups as possible. Many medical problems are exacerbated by the winter, such as arthritis.
Wipe Off Paws and Legs
When walking through snow that has been treated with salt, wipe the paws and legs of the animal off with a rag to remove any salt. Animals that lick their paws covered in salt will irritate their mouths. Also, antifreeze is toxic if ingested. Also, the paws should be checked for evidence of cold-related injury.
Make Accommodations for Certain Animals
It may be difficult to take puppies and small dogs outside to urinate because they do not tolerate cold as well as larger dogs. Therefore, you may need to clean up after them more often. Elderly pets and short-haired pets are also more vulnerable.
Use Proper Bedding
Do not have the animals sleeping on the cold floor. Instead, provide something off the ground, away from drafts, for the dog to sleep on. The bedding will need to be changed more often because by dragging snow in, the melted snow will make the bedding wet.
Inspect Your Furnace
Contact a HVAC technician to inspect the furnace to make sure that it is functioning properly. Have it tested to verify that it does not have a carbon monoxide leak. Since the pets spend more time in one location, they are more vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Provide Enough Food
Animals need more food during the winter to help keep them warm. Generally, you will need to budget for at least 10 percent more than what they would normally eat.
You will need to pay close attention to warning signs of hypothermia. This can include:
• Shivering
• Whining
• Sluggishness
• Burrowing
If you suspect that the animal is suffering from hypothermia, have a veterinarian look at the animal soon.

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