By Annabelle Moore, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region
Keep your furry friends warm and safe this winter with these tips.
- Download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App. The app includes information for both cat and dog owners on everyday emergencies, CPR, behavioral guidance, and interactive videos and quizzes.
- Bring your critters inside if temperatures drop or winter weather is on its way. If they cannot come in, make sure they have a solid shelter with wind protection that is nice and dry.
- All pet shelters/houses should allow your furry family member enough space to sit or lay down and be a few inches off the ground. Keep the floor of your pets’ home warm and dry.
- Food and water are essential! Be sure that they are close to your pet and don’t freeze or get buried in snow.
- Keep those paws clean! Be aware of snow and ice melting salts that can irritate your pup. Check their paws after winter walks to help them avoid licking it up. It’s also a good time to look for chapped or cracked paws. Antifreeze is toxic- keep it safely stored away from areas your pet plays.
Be prepared! Winter storms can cause plenty of hazards for humans and their pets. Make sure your family has a pet preparedness pack as part of your family emergency kit. Plan ahead for a few extra cans/bags of dog and cat food. Any pet medications as needed and your veterinarian’s phone numbers. Be sure to have your pet’s vaccinations up to date and copies of any important medical documents in your kit.
- Plan ahead and know what your family & pet travel plan are in the event of an emergency. Have a list of safe places your pet can go- be it family, friends, boarding houses, or a veterinarian. If it’s time to evacuate, take your pet with you! Write down pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route.
For more pet safety tips on travel, heat, and ways to keep your pet safe during a natural disaster, check out www.redcross.org.