Winter is hard on everyone with its freezing temperatures, snow and ice. The chilly weather can also be difficult for our pets and the American Red Cross has steps people can follow to help ensure their pet’s safety when cold weather hits their area.
“Bring pets inside, if possible, to protect them from low temperatures and severe winter weather,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.”
Other tips pet owners should be aware of include:
- Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
- Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.
- Signs of frostbite include discoloration of the frozen area, pale or even blue skin, no pain or lots of pain. The pads of the paws, tail and tips of the ears are most susceptible.
- If your pet has frostbite, bring them out of the cold. Spray the affected area with warm water. Lightly apply a warm compress to the area. Do not rub or apply pressure. Take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.
DOWNLOAD PET FIRST AID APP The American Red Cross Pet First Aid App provides dog and cat owners with resources on how to maintain their pet’s health and well-being and what to do during emergencies until veterinary care is available. Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images from more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations including what to do for cold-related emergencies.
Features in the app allow owners to:
· Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians if they are out of town with the ‘animal hospital locator.’
· Locate pet-friendly hotels.
· Test their knowledge with interactive quizzes and earn badges that they can share on their social networks. They can also attach their favorite picture of their pet when they share their badge.
The app is available to download free in app stores, by going to redcross.org/apps or by texting ‘GETPET’ to 90999. Additional winter storm safety information is available at redcross.org/wintersafety.