Don’t leave your furry friends out in the cold.
The Suffolk County SPCA on Wednesday — ahead of this weekend’s predicted winter storm — issued the following tips to pet owners to help keep animals safe:
- Pets should be kept inside when temperatures dip below freezing. If animals can’t be brought inside, be sure to properly insulate the doghouse, shed or barn in which they’re being kept.
- Water kept in dog bowls or troughs needs to be replenished often, as it may freeze in the cold weather.
- Feed pets more during the winter. They need the additional calories to help keep warm.
- Bang the hood of the car before starting the engine, as cats commonly seek shelter in engines during the winter months.
- Clean pets’ feet, legs and stomach regularly to prevent them from ingesting antifreeze or rock salt.
- Don’t shave pets during the winter. They need their hair to keep warm. Also, consider dressing shorthair breeds in an appropriate jacket.
- Older pets and younger pets are more sensitive to the cold. Keep them inside when possible.
- After bathing animals, make sure they are completely dry.
- Don’t let pets off the leash in the snow. They can easily slip and break their legs. Pets also become more disoriented in the cold weather and may get lost.