Winterizing your animals |

Winterizing your animals

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” As cold temperatures dip down near zero, animal service organizations are advising local residents to look after their pets.

Leslie Rockey, executive director of Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE), said its “very important” for residents to take several extra steps to care for pets during the winter time.

“Winter is tough on all of us,” she said.

Current forecasts call for a high of 23 degrees today and 18 degrees Sunday. The low temperature tonight and Sunday night is expected to fall to single digits.

Eagle County Animal Services, along with Rockey, offered several suggestions for caring for your pets when temperatures begin to plummet.

– Even brief exposure to “sub-zero” temperatures can lead to frostbite of pets’ feet, nose or ears. The department said “frost-bitten skin appears red, gray or whitish and may peel off.”

Pet owners should prevent frostbite by removing ice and snow from paws and fur right away.

“If you suspect frostbite, contact your veterinarian,” according to Eagle County Animal Services.

– Do not leave antifreeze, coolant or windshield wiper fluid where animals may access them and do not let pets drink from puddles.

– Bang on the hood of your car or honk the horn before starting the engine to warn animals away. Often, outdoor cats and wild animals climb into vehicles to seek warmth.

“That is definitely something to think about it,” said Rockey, adding the local shelter has treated cats who have been injured in such a way.

– Dogs need fresh water daily. Don’t assume freshly-fallen snow is a replacement.

– Be sure to note how your pets react to variances in temperature. Dogs with short-hair coats may need a little extra protection if they are outside for a long period of time.

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