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Winter weather tips for pet owners

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 08:11:36-05

Now that winter has arrived, don't forget about your furry friends! Here's some tips that will keep your pet happy and healthy.

When cold weather strikes, bring them indoors, even if it's into a garage, barn or similar shelter.

Bundle up small dogs in a sweater to keep them warm, even inside. Remember — cold air sinks, and it's often colder for animals than for you. Always keep in mind that if it’s too cold for you, it’s likely too cold for your pet.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, repeatedly taking your pet out into the cold and then back inside throughout the day may cause dry, itchy skin. One way to avoid this is by using a humidifier in your home and drying your pet off with a towel when they come inside.

You should also keep a small towel with you when you take your dog for a walk. Periodically check between your pet’s toes and clean off any ice particles that may be clinging between them, causing pain and irritation. The ASPCA says that before you go outside, consider rubbing petroleum jelly on your pet’s paw pads. It will provide protection from the salt and other chemicals it walks on.

Skip the haircuts. Long winter coats provide extra protection during the bitter winter months. Don't shave your dog when winter weather takes a cold turn.

Fatten them up. Pets can benefit from a little extra food during the winter, which in turn will give them more energy.

For more tips from the ASPCA, click here.

Beyond pets, anyone with livestock should also take precautions to help protect their animals from the cold. Livestock should be sheltered and have access to fresh, non-frozen drinking water.

Remember, leaving animals out in the cold isn’t just a horrible thing to do, it’s actually against the law. According to the Ohio Revised Code, leaving a pet outside without shelter in the cold, wind, rain or snow can result in a charge of prohibitions concerning companion animals.

Anyone who has a concern about a pet left outside can call Cleveland city officials at 216-664-3069.