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Protect Your Pet From Winter's Woes

Like you, dogs and cats (or rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs) cannot withstand winter's bitter cold and numbing wetness. Keep your pet happy and healthy during the winter months.


  • Don't leave your pets outdoors when the temperatures drop sharply: Short-haired, very young, or old dogs and cats should never be left outside. Dogs and cats are safer indoors.
  • No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet's life: an outdoor dog must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the animal to lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in its body heat, with a floor raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings. The house should also face away from the wind and have a doorway covered with burlap or a rug.
  • Outdoor dogs need more food in the winter, because keeping warm depletes energy: Routinely check your dog's water dishes to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.
  • Other winter hazards: The warm engines of parked cars attract cats. Salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can burn the pads of pets' feet. Anti-freeze tastes sweet, but is a deadly poison to pets (and children). Take precautions against these winter dangers.

Tips on warm weather care.
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Page Updated: Sunday July 13, 2008