Winter safety tips for pets - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Winter safety tips for pets

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

With winter weather approaching, it is important to make sure your animals are safe.  Because just like people, pets can suffer from cold and temperature related injuries.  Here is a list of some things you can do to keep your animals safe in the colder months:

1. Pets need to always have fresh water at all times.  This can become an issue if you leave water outside for your pets, be careful that it doesn't freeze.

2. If your pet is an outdoor pet, on cold days they tend to seek shelter near something warm, like a car engine.  If an animal is near the engine when the car is started this could result in serious injury.

3. If you keep your pet in the garage when it's cold outside, be careful when starting your car before you leave to heat it up.  This can trap carbon monoxide in a sealed garage, and it can take only minutes for a small animal to die in a sealed garage with a car running.

4. Keep your pets away from ponds, rivers and lakes as thin ice develops.  It may not be strong enough to support their weight.  If your pet does fall through the ice - call for help immediately.  Unfortunately, by trying to rescue your best friend yourself, you could put yourself in danger.

5. Do not leave your pets in the car while shopping.  In the winter, cars can hold in the cold like a refrigerator, and potentially harm your pet.

6. Dogs and cats can get frostbite, just like people.  If they are exposed to very cold temperatures for a long time, they can develop frostbite.

7. Damp and cold weather can also aggravate symptoms of arthritis in animals.  If they have trouble getting up and down, walking the stairs and start to cry when picked up, these are all symptoms of arthritis and should be taken seriously.

If you have taken all of these preventative measures and are still worried about your pet's safety in the cold weather, you can always invest in a heated floor mat or non-electric warm bedding.  This will keep them warm all year.

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