The colder temps and snow seem festive during the month of December.

If you’re like me and have pets - here are five great tips to help protect your animals from the cold elements and conditions of Washington State.


1) Speak Out! 

If you notice an animal not being cared for, or neglected, its important to quickly act. You may be the only person who can save its life!

Credit: Remus Rigo

I once lived across the street from a family that kept a dog chained up outside in deadly triple digit Summer heat. The dog was yelping for help. I knocked on their door - nobody was home.

I then contacted a neighbor - who called Animal Control.

According to the Humane Society, when a pet owner is notified of a pet left outside during harsh conditions, they (the owner) will usually comply - Not realizing the urgency of the weather on the animal.

-If an owner doesn’t seem willing to change the situation, contact your local Animal Control. These professionals deal with neglectful pet owners on a routine basis and will act fast to save the animal.


2) Bundle Up, Wipe Down 

Yes, your animal has fur.

But it's important to know that windchill can cause great harm to your friend. Be sure and place a sweater over your short haired dog. It's also important to wipe off your pets paws after walking on sidewalks that have had rock salt and other de-icing chemicals used to keep our vehicle from slipping and sliding on the roads.

Credit Astrid860


The rock salt and other items used to melt snow - is a poison for your pet, when your animal licks its feet clean.

-If your dog consumes rock salt, immediately contact your animal doctor/vet.


3)  Remove Common Poisons 

The cold season comes with vehicle owners topping off our vehicles with Antifreeze and Coolants in the Summer.

Credit Ritter75

If you spill, be sure and clean up. The chemicals in these products are poison to our pets.

-It’s important to repeat the above warning of washing off your pets paws and pads after walking on Winter sidewalks. The rock salt and other items used to melt snow is a poison for your pet.


4) Keep Pets Sheltered 

If you have dogs or cats (barn cats/feral cats) on your property, make sure you have adequate shelter to keep them protected when the thermometer dips below freezing. A great tip for animals who sleep outside in a doghouse/cat shelter is to: Have their sleeping area/wood floor raised off the ground with straw or cedar chips, on the wood surface, to help keep the cold off of their body.

My grandparents installed a light bulb inside their family doghouse for warmth. 

Source Getty Stock / ThinkStock
Getty Stock / ThinkStock


5) Protect Outdoor Animals 

Livestock, horses, goats, dogs, etc - must have adequate shelter from the wind and cold weather.

The Humane Society stresses to NEVER have your cat stay outside in the Winter - even if they normally stay outside during the other seasons.

Also, Check on your animal's water dish. The water easily freezes in the dark, cold Washington Winter.

Information Source: The Humane Society of the United States

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