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How to keep your pets safe during cold weather

The Humane Society of Missouri’s motto to keep pets safe is simple: Under 35, bring pets inside!

ST. LOUIS — If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. The Humane Society of Missouri wants pet owners to remember their four-legged friends as the temperatures begin to fall.

The organization’s motto to keep pets safe is simple: Under 35, bring pets inside!

The Humane Society of Missouri offered these tips to make sure both indoor and outdoor pets stay healthy throughout winter.

  1. Bring pets inside: Pets can get hypothermia and frostbite, just like people.
  2. Provide a cozy space: If pets are going to be left outside, make sure there’s a comfortable, warm space insulated from the wind and cold. The Humane Society of Missouri said to keep an eye on your pets’ behavior. If they start whining, shivering or seem anxious or weak, bring them inside immediately because they could be suffering from hypothermia.
  3. Check your pet’s paws: Cold weather can damage your pet’s paws. Look for cracked paw pads or bleeding. Also, make sure to clean your pet’s paws after being outside. Salt and other products used to melt ice and snow can irritate paw pads. Paw booties are an option if your pet needs to walk outside.
  4. Layer up: If you pet has a thinner coat, he or she might need a sweater or coat. Just make sure the extra layer isn’t wet—a wet coat or sweater can make your dog even colder.
  5. Prevent poisoning: Clean up antifreeze spills or buildup whenever you notice them. Pets might like the way it smells and tastes, but it’s poisonous. If your pet eats antifreeze, call your vet immediately.
  6. Get a checkup: Cold weather can make certain medical conditions like arthritis worse. If your pet hasn’t been to the vet for its yearly checkup, now is the perfect time.

To report an animal in distress, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at (314) 647-4400. For more information on how to care for your pets during cold weather months, visit the Humane Society of Missouri website at www.hsmo.org.

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