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Humane Society of Greater Dayton

Keep Your Pets Safe in Subzero Temperatures

dogincoldAs we reach subzero temperatures in the Miami Valley it is important to keep your pets safe in the cold. Remember, if it is too cold for you to be outside then it is too cold for your pets. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton recommends all animals should remain indoors as much as possible during the colder months to protect them from the harsh and bitterly cold elements. If your animals must stay outdoors, then they need to have proper shelter, food and fresh water to protect them from the cold.

If you have witnessed any animal that has been outdoors for an extended period of time and who is not protected from the winter elements please call the Humane Society’s cruelty/neglect hotline at (855) PETS-911 or (855) 738-7911 or file a report online. For all dogs left outdoors, you can also call the Animal Resource Center at (937) 898-4457. Let’s work together to keep all of our pets safe and warm this winter season!

Protect from Cold

Take pets inside with the exception of periods of exercise. This will protect them from the winter elements. For outdoor activities, consider dressing your pet in a sweater or coat to help them retain their body heat and also prevent their skin from drying out. Whenever your pets go outdoors, you need to also protect their paws as much as possible.  Booties can help lower your pet’s exposure to painful salt crystals and other ice-melting elements. If booties aren’t an option, try rubbing petroleum jelly into the pads of your pet’s paws before you go out. This will protect your pet from salts and other chemicals. When you bring them indoors wipe off their paws with a dry towel immediately, making sure to pay attention to between their toes. 

Provide Proper Shelter

If your pet must be outdoors, provide them with the proper shelter. You want a shelter that is dry, draft-free and large enough for your pet to turn around, sit and lie down comfortably. Make sure that it is not too big though. If you have a small dog, you don’t want a large shelter because it will be harder for them to stay warm inside. Do not put blankets in your pet's shelter. These can easily absorb moisture and freeze quickly, which can cause more damage than good to your pet. Instead, use straw to insulate your shelter. It stays dry, provides comfortable bedding and helps to insulate the shelter to keep your pets warm. 

Feed Your Pets More

Did you know that in the winter months pets tend to use more energy to stay warm? Make sure to feed your pets a little more food during the winter and give them plenty of fresh, clean water. The extra food and water will help them produce the energy they need to stay warmer and will keep them hydrated, which will help moisturize their skin.  With temperature so low, water freezes quickly. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. 

Avoid Salt and Chemicals

Keep your pet’s paws free of salt and other winter chemicals. The salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. When you come inside, wipe your pet’s feet with a towel before they lick them. These chemicals can irritate your pet’s mouth. We recommend using pet-friendly salts to melt ice outside of your home. Many stores sell pet-friendly options that help keep pets safe while also removing the ice.

Keep Pets Groomed

Animals with longer coats tend to have issues with salt crystals, snow balls or even de-icing chemicals clinging to their fur, which can dry your pet’s skin out. Keep fur trimmed to stop some of this from collecting on your pet. Don’t forget to also clip the hair between their paws. By also brushing your pet frequently, you can stimulate blood circulation, which improves your pet’s overall skin condition. You do however want to also limit the number of baths you give your pets during the winter months. Washing too often can remove the essential oils your pets need to keep their skin healthy. Your vet can recommend a good moisturizing shampoo or rinse for you to use on your pets to help their skin. 

 


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.  

Precious

Precious
Precious

Age: 6-year-old
Type: Domestic Shorthair
Sex: Female

What Makes Them Special?
If you are looking for a cat who loves to cuddle, look no further! This amazing lady loves people and would be so happy to find a forever home! Could it be with you?

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Thumper

Thumper
Thumper

Age: 4 1/2 years old
Type: Dwarf/American
Sex: Male

What Makes Them Special?
Thumper is an adorable little guy that came to our shelter along with many other bunnies after their owner passed away. He's neutered and is quite a tidy fellow with his litter box habits. He's currently in foster care and his foster tells us he's very social, likes to cuddle and really enjoys the times he gets to run and play. His diet consists of timothy hay, pellets and fresh greens daily. His favorite treat? A slice of banana will excite him enough to do a happy dance. Would you like to meet Thumper and see if he's the bunny for you or your family? Please submit a small animal adoption application and let us schedule a time for you to meet him at our shelter. We're certain he'll steal your heart.

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Dobby

Dobby
Dobby

Age: 3-years-old
Type: Treeing Walker Coonhound mix
Sex: Male

What Makes Them Special?
This gorgeous boy is Dobby! He came all the way from a shelter in Kentucky to find his forever home! You may hear him barking in the kennels but it is only because he wants to come out and see you! Once you get to spend some time with him you will see that he is a calm, gentle, sweet boy who just wants attention. He will gently put his head in your lap and look up at you for snuggles. He loves being pet and being close to you and will make a loyal companion. He's got enough energy to go on a nice walk or hike but also calm enough to cuddle up with you and relax. He has started training here and will receive two free training classes with his adoption so that his new family can see everything he has learned and continue that in the home. He may need to meet any potential "dog siblings" before going home with them. If you think Dobby would be the perfect fit for your home, come on in, fill out an application, and spend some time with him

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Sarsaparilla

Sarsaparilla
Sarsaparilla

Age: 4-years-old
Type: Hound/Shepherd mix
Sex: Female

What Makes Them Special?
This sweetheart is Sarsaparilla (a.k.a."Sassy"). She came all the way from a Kentucky shelter to find her forever home! She is a very sweet girl who would make a great addition to any home! She is peppy enough to spend time playing or go on a nice long walk, but calm enough to hang out and relax at home. She is very sweet and pretty calm so would make a great companion to someone looking for an amazing girl to add to their heart and home! She goes to training through the S.T.A.R.T. training program so will receive two free classes with her adoption to maintain and continue training. She has gone to our pet therapy program (where we visit nursing homes and allow them to interact with the dogs), and our book buddies program (where we take dogs to elementary schools to let them read to and interact with the dogs) and she has done very well in those situations! She LOVES snuggling close to you, getting belly rubs, and giving you lots of kisses. Sassy will need to be the only pet in the home as she doesn't get along well with cats or most other dogs. If you think Sarsaparilla would be the perfect addition to your home, come on in, fill out an application, and spend some time with her!

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Charity

Charity
Charity

Age: 1-year-old
Type: Domestic Shorthair
Sex: Female

What Makes Them Special?
Charity is a lovable and sweet lady who just wants to spend her days curled up and loving on her new owners! Could it be with you?

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