OK folks, dogs and cats not farm animals -- they are your pets! Cold weather is here and pet owners need to put on their thinking caps.
Cold weather can be hard on pets, just like it can be hard on people. If you go outside in the cold without a coat on you will feel the difference. Sometimes owners forget that their pets are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the indoors as they are.
Some owners will leave pets outside for extended periods of time, thinking that their pets are adapted to live outdoors. This can put pets in danger of serious illness.
Please keep pets inside as much as you can when the mercury drops. If you have to take them out, stay outside with them. When you're cold enough to go inside, they probably are too.
If you absolutely must leave pets outside for a significant length of time, make sure they have a warm, solid shelter against the wind, thick bedding, and plenty of non-frozen water. Try leaving out a hot water bottle, wrapped in a towel, so that it won't burn their skin. Some pets can remain outside safely longer in the winter than others. In some cases, it's just common sense: long-haired breeds like huskies will do better in cold weather than pit bulls.
Cats will curl up against almost anything to stay warm -- including car engines. Cats caught in moving engine parts can be seriously hurt or killed. Before you turn your engine on, check beneath the car or make a lot of noise by honking the horn or rapping on the hood.
The next few weeks the weather will be turning very cold. Please keep your pets warm!
Carol Seabrooke-Jaworski, Front Royal