Tips of the Month

Planning for Your Pet

What happens to our furry family pets if we have to be out of our homes for a period of time due to illness or rehabilitation? The dog must be let outside, the cat litter box must be cleaned, and the animals must have fresh water and food.

The time to plan is BEFORE something happens when you are home and healthy – not on the way to the hospital. Do you have a friend, relative, neighbor, dog walker, pet sitter, groomer, or boarding facility who is willing to care for your pets in your absence? Is there someone who will act as a back-up?

Once you have found someone to watch your pets, develop a written list containing information such as: vet information, medications needed on a regular basis (including heartworm and flea/tick prevention) and how to administer, feeding schedule, litter box cleaning information, outside/walking schedule, where all pet items are kept in the house, vaccination and microchip records, and daily care instructions. It is important that you post the contact information of the person(s) who will be caring for your pets in case of emergency in a prominent place in your home such as the refrigerator.

From the City's Animal Welfare Committee

Pets and Cold Weather

Cold temperatures are quickly setting in which can pose many dangers for our furry family members. Exposure to winter's dry cold air and sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your dog - make sure to dry his feet and between his toes when he comes in from the snow. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Getting him a coat to wear is also a good idea - one to cover from his neck to his tail.

Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws - after each walk wash and dry your pet's feet and stomach to remove any salt, ice or chemicals. Bathe your dog as little as possible during cold spells. Too much bathing dries out their skin. Petroleum jelly can be massaged into the paw pads before going for a walk to help prevent the absorption of street irritants. Booties can also be bought.

Make sure you don't skimp on their food during the winter - pets burn energy by trying to stay warm. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep - a cozy bed away from drafts.

If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on your car hood before starting your engine - this can be a place of warmth for them.

Remember if it's too cold for you to be outside it's too cold for your pet! If you see an animal chained outside please call Animal Control as this is considered animal cruelty.

From the City's Animal Welfare Committee