NYCLASS hopes all of you who live in a part of the country affected by the polar vortex and record-low temperatures that are hitting some areas this week stay warm and safe! We want to share with you some important tips for also keeping your pets and nearby animals safe and healthy during these dangerous weather extremes.
- If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet! Bring pets indoors in extreme cold. Their fur does not protect them from frostbite and hypothermia, and they can freeze to death if left outside. If you see pets left outdoors in the extreme cold, call 911 or contact local law enforcement. If you see stray animals roaming the streets, bring them indoors until you can find their guardians.
- If you must take your pet outside for a quick walk, make sure to protect them with a coat or sweater and booties to protect their feet from salt, chemicals, and the cold/snow. If you do not have paw booties, be sure to wash and dry your pets' paws, feet, and stomach after a walk.
- Most people are aware of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars, but it's also unsafe to leave your pet alone in a vehicle in the extreme cold. The car can trap the cold and cause your pet to freeze to death.
- Antifreeze is toxic to animals and tastes sweet to them, so be alert for any spills from your vehicle.
- Outdoor cats and some other wildlife can huddle inside your car, near the engine or other areas, in order to stay warm. Be sure to bang on the hood of the car and honk the horn before you start your car engine to scare off any animals that may be sleeping or hiding.
- Feral animals and wildlife can suffer greatly during intense cold snaps, so consider helping them survive by placing insulated shelters for feral cats outside, and by filling a heavy, nonmetal bowl with water for birds, squirrels and rabbits to drink from. Be sure to break the water's surface a few times every day. Heated bowls are also a good idea, if possible.