Winter Pet Tips

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Dear pet owners,

I am writing this letter to let you know some concerns that were brought up by some of my fellow animal friends at our last meeting at a cool off lead park. We feel this is an important message to bring to your attention as the cold weather has started to creep in.

Please don’t leave us outdoors when the temperature drops, get cold and we are lonely. We are all are safer and much happier with our family indoors, except when taken out for exercise, which we love. And we love the company of our pack, both 2 and 4 legged companions. Indoors is where we really want to be and belong.

We Short-coated dogs do like wearing our fancy and functional winter coats; they keep us warm during walks and play. And don’t be shy about putting doggie booties on us either our toes get cold too.

When my friends and I come in from the outside and we are wet from snow or cold rain, towel or blow dry us. And don’t forget to dry our paws and ears. This will take off any salt that may be stuck to and in our paws and help prevent cracking plus prevent our ears from cracking as well, which really hurts.  There are some great products available at your local pet friendly store to put on our paws to help repel the salt.

No matter what the temperature, wind-chill can threaten our lives. We pets are happiest and healthiest when kept indoors where we deserve to be. I will speak for all dogs that live outside and tell you to please take some extra precautions this winter to make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow then to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in their body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. And please check their water dishes several times a day as water can freeze and leaving them with nothing to drink. Also please use plastic dishes for food and water as metal ones can cause injury to their mouths and tongue.

Do not leave us in a vehicle. If you leave the vehicle running, you are adding to the stress of the environment BUT worse we could be overcome by carbon monoxide fumes. If you turn your car off, it can quickly become too cold  – a no win situation. We would really rather stay home and wait for you to walk in the house so we can check each shopping bag you have for treats and bones we know you bought us.

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, Please bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine, we think it is fun to scare our feline counter parts, but it is safe for all of them, sigh

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that we love. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of the reach of us pets. It smells like a treat to us and we are very tempted to drink it.

Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to us. Poinsettia leaves/stems, tinsel, spray snow, holly berries and leaves, mistletoe, and chocolate just to name a few. If you can please take care these items are not in reach or do not have these items in the house. They are very attractive to us and it’s safer if these items are never brought home.

Do not allow us to play with ribbons, yarn, or six-pack beverage holders and don’t put ribbons or yarn around our neck. If you want to decorate us we would love to have a fancy holiday collar or a Santa hat that you purchase from a store. These items are safe and made for us animals.

We don’t like to be given as gifts, while we are special we require our new family to have seriously thought about bringing us home and all that goes with it, we bring much love and joy but we also require attention and vet care.  We want to fit in with our new family as much as you want us to, that is why adoption is great…you get to know all about us.  I don’t like wheat it bothers my tummy so I want my new forever family to know this.

The cats would like us to mention that since they would rather spend the long winter days inside, could you please move all the birdfeeders and squirrel food close to the windows.

Thank you The Animals at ARC