Preparations To Keep Your Pets Safe in Winter Storms
With the cold weather moving in, many families start to worry if they have everything to prepare their pets for winter. Winter storms pose a serious risk to pets’ safety as water valves and gates freeze; most driveways become impossible to drive or walk on. The animals can get trapped, slip and fall, or suffer broken bones. Even if the weather warms up after a few days of sub-zero low temperatures, the danger of black ice is huge and walking your dog could require some serious skills and caution.
If your area is struck by a severe ice storm, are your pets prepared to wait it out until the power is back on? The worst part of ice storms is that you could be stuck in your house with no electricity or communication. So you need to survive a few days on your own and keep your pets safe.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best! Charge your phone, have batteries handy. When stocking up on bread and milk, don’t forget your pet’s food too! Try to draw as much water as you can and use every container possible. Separate them by drinking water and usable water. It is a well-known fact that if you leave your containers open until they reach room temperature and then close them, they will help maintain heat longer. If you have a fireplace, stack on fire logs, as well as other materials that burn, like newspapers, etc. Do not let your pets eat or lick any of the salt or antifreeze that is on the ground. Yes, you will need salt or sand to deice your property, however, they can be toxic to your pet if ingested. Their smell and sweet taste entice pets to ingest them…but could be fatal or cause serious health issues. So when letting your pet outside, keep an eye on them.
If there are several inches of snow on the ground, take the time to clear a path for your pet to travel through. Although it may seem easy for many dogs jump thru mounds of snow, there are senior dogs, or small breeds that can get stuck in the snow, or worse, buried beneath it. Snow that coagulates in between the pads of your pet’s paw, can cause discomfort and ice burns.
One major thing to remember is to keep your pets warm. If you might lose heat for the duration of the storm, pick one room that you can close off and keep everybody there. Make sure you have some all-weather fleece blankets handy. It’s a great idea to have an instant heating pad/warmer available (hottie, sold at the $1 store, for example) that could provide up to 18 hours of instant warmth to keep your pet hypothermia-free. Have your pet first aid kit handy as long as their emergency food supplies and toys to keep them busy.
Caring for CT’s pets since 1995