Keep your pets safe and warm during winter with these 5 tips

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ST. LOUIS – The Humane Society of Missouri is offering five tips to keep pets safe and warm during snowy weather and freezing temperatures.

The Humane Society’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America (AMCMA) has a “lifesaving motto” pet parents should follow: 35° and Below, Protect Fido!

They offer these five tips:

1.Bring pets inside: Pets should not be left outside in the cold. Young puppies and senior dogs have more difficulty regulating their body temperature, but even pets with a thick coat are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

2.Provide a cozy space: If animals must be left outdoors, provide a well-insulated, draft-free, appropriately sized shelter with a sturdy covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Do not place blankets inside the shelter.

If it rains or snows, the blankets can become wet and freeze. Instead, insulate the shelter with hay or straw. Adequate shelter is mandatory by law.

3.Prevent injury by examining pet paws: When your pet comes inside, check their paws for signs of cold-weather damage, such as a cracked paw pad, redness between toes, and any bleeding.

Pay attention to areas on the ground that contain rock salt and stay away. Those harmful chemicals can result in paw injuries or cause serious stomach issues for your pet upon ingestion.

4. Layer up your pup: If your dog has a thinner coat or seems bothered by the cold, consider a sweater or a dog coat for trips outside. However, be careful to keep layers dry – a wet sweater or coat can make your dog colder.

5. Schedule a winter wellness exam: If your pet has not visited the veterinarian for their annual wellness exam, don’t wait. Cold weather may worsen certain medical conditions such as arthritis.

You can schedule a visit with a vet from the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America by calling 314-951-1534.

If you see an animal in distress, call your local police and the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline immediately at (314) 647-4400.

For more information on how to care for pets during the winter months, visit AMCMA at amcma.org or HSMO at hsmo.org.

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