Brutally cold temps mean care, caution with pets outdoors

Animal advocates, and The Mining Journal, remind readers to not forget their furry friends outside when temperatures plummet. The American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals offers a handful of commonsense suggestions that are worth repeating here, given the conditions:

1. Keep your cat indoors. House cats aren’t built to take cold temperatures.

2. Letting your dog run off leash is a recipe for trouble as dogs can lose their scent in snow storms and easily become lost.

3. Remove all snow and ice from your dog’s coat when they come in. The snow and ice can contain harmful chemicals from roadways and dogs often lick and chew away snow and ice from their coats.

4. Let your dog’s coat grow longer to provide extra warmth and never shave your dog in the winter. Consider a coat or sweater for extra warmth.

5. Never leave a dog or cat in a car in the winter. The vehicle can turn into a refrigerator, freezing them to death.

6. Puppies do not tolerate cold as well as adult dogs. Short trips outside are the best.

7. If your dog is outside a great deal, increase food intake, especially protein, which will put him, and his coat, in good condition.

8. Thoroughly clean up poisonous anti-freeze spills as dogs are often attracted to its sweet flavor.

9. Make sure your dog or cat has a warm place to sleep.

Bottom line: If you’re outside and you’re cold, so is your pet. Be safe, be smart and bring them in with you. They will love you for it.