Whatcom Humane Society reminds pet owners of winter dangers

Winter weather has arrived in Whatcom County, bringing cold temperatures, wind, rain and possible snow in the forecast. The Whatcom Humane Society (WHS) wants to help pet owners keep their animals safe, dry and healthy during the winter season by following a few simple
guidelines:

Don’t leave animals outdoors for extended periods of time. Short-haired, very young and very old animals are extremely susceptible to the elements including rain, sleet, snow
and wind.

73152004_9966340_300_2735_3644_u_r_jpgIf you must leave a companion animal outdoors, the animal must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough for the animal to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The shelter should be turned to face away from the wind and raised a few inches off the ground.

WHS has a limited number of free doghouses available to pets of residents in need. Doghouses are available at the Whatcom Humane Society facility at 2172 Division Street in Bellingham on a first-come, first-served basis. WHS also accepts donations of new or used dog houses for
this program.

Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes the animal’s energy. Routinely check your pets’ water dish to make sure the water does
not freeze.

Livestock animals need extra feed, hay and a source for water. Wind- and rain-proof jackets or blankets should be provided for horses, goats and other animals at risk in the elements. All outdoor livestock should have access to a dry, draft-free shelter.

Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats and small wildlife that crawl up under the hood to stay warm. Before starting your car, bang on the hood to scare any animals away.

Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pets’ feet. Wipe your animals’ feet off with a damp cloth after walks or outdoor exercise.

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but has a sweet taste that attracts animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach of all domestic and wild animals.

If you are aware of an animal in need or that is kept outdoors without proper shelter from the elements, please contact the Whatcom Humane Society Animal Control & Rescue Department at 360/733-2080, ext. 3017 or your local animal control agency for assistance immediately. WHS can help direct you to the animal control agency in
your community.

Courtesy of the Whatcom Humane Society.

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