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As winter arrives, pets & livestock need extra care

Health & Lifestyle Desk || shiningbd

Published: 14:34, 10 January 2022  
As winter arrives, pets & livestock need extra care

In cold weather, animals face serious health risks, including frostbite and hypothermia. Pet owners are urged to keep animals indoors during cold weather. Multnomah County warming shelters opened Saturday afternoon, and pets are welcome.

Snow is expected to arrive late Saturday and temperatures are expected to drop to the low to mid-20s by the middle of next week.

The weather reminds pet owners that dogs and cans can get frostbite on ears, nose and feet if left outside. Young and senior pets are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures, so best to keep them indoors.

Here are 10 things you can do to protect pets and livestock

  1. Keep cats inside during cold weather.
  2. Bang the hood of your vehicle before starting your engine to warn cats and other small critters that might be keeping themselves warm under the hood.
  3. If you’re caring for feral cats, make sure outdoor water bowls don’t freeze over. Use plastic food and water bowls to prevent cats’ tongues from sticking to cold metal, and give cats more food since they’ll burn more calories to keep warm.
  4. Limit the time pets stay outside.
  5. Let longer-hair dogs keep their coats and consider a sweater or coat for short-haired dogs.
  6. Keep antifreeze and rock salt (commonly used to melt ice) away from animals. After a walk, wipe dogs’ paws, legs and stomach to rid them of rock salt that may have been spread outdoors. Watch for anti-freeze that can leak under cars and quickly remove puddles. 
  7. Never leave a dog or cat alone in a vehicle in the cold.
  8. Keep dogs on leash during snow storms, when dogs may lose their scent and become lost. Make sure dogs are wearing ID tags.
  9. Ensure that livestock have access to fresh, unfrozen water.
  10. Make sure horses and other livestock have adequate structured shelter with dry bedding and proper ventilation.

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