Baby, it’s cold outside!

This week the Shelter is completely full. We have cats and kittens ready for adoption and dogs of every size. We would love to have you stop by to meet our animals that are looking for a home. Many animals in our community already have outstanding homes.  It doesn’t take a lot of money to provide adequate shelter for your pets.  With winter approaching we thought we would remind everyone how to make sure your pets and community cats have adequate shelter.

Baby it’s cold outside!  What is too cold for your pet? As a rule of thumb, cats prefer temperatures above 45 and dogs above freezing. Here are suggestions to help provide adequate shelter for outdoor pets.

Keep Pets inside if any way possible and take dogs for frequent walks for exercise. If your dog must be outside, provide draft-free shelter that is large enough for them to move around comfortably yet small enough to help hold in body heat. It is most important to keep them out of the elements, dry and protected from the wind. This can be a dog house, a barrel, a wooden box or a cordoned off portion of your garage, shed or barn.  The floor of the shelter should be off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Do not use old blankets or towels since they retain moisture and freeze. The doorway should be covered with a waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.

Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors for extended periods of time, even if they like to roam outside.

If you have outdoor cats either as pets or community cats, you need to protect them from cold weather and make sure they have adequate food and water.

You can make an outdoor cat shelter quickly by using a plastic tub turned upside down with a hole cut in one end and filled with dry straw. There are also lots of creative cat shelter designs available on the internet made out of inexpensive styrofoam and plastic coolers.

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, during the winter they need more food. Make sure their water dish is unfrozen and provide lots of fresh water. Plastic or rubberized food and water bowls are recommended in the winter since your pet’s tongue may stick to frozen metal.

Antifreeze and rock salt can be deadly to pets. If your dog or cat ingests either get them to a Vet immediately.

Cats also have a tendency to climb under the hood onto warm engines of parked vehicles.  Bang on the hood or honk the horn of your vehicle to scare them away before starting your engine.