"Rule 7. Be kind to animals and take care of them." -- Roy Rogers Riders Club Rules
Friends, it is time to think about protecting your pet during cold weather. I hope you find these commonsense tips helpful.
To ensure the safety and well-being of your companion pet, make sure you have enough supplies to last a few days in case the roads should become unsafe for travel and you are unable to get to a veterinary office. Supplies should include pet food, litter, fresh water and any medications.
Like humans, pets can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite if left outside for long periods of time in freezing weather. The young and elder pets are especially at risk. Indoor accommodations are best during freezing weather, but if you are unable to bring your animals inside, set up a housing area that is protected from wind, rain, and snow. Use insulation such as straw or blankets to help them keep their body heat up. This is a good time to visit your local thrift store and stock up on used, reasonably priced blankets and bedding for them. Do not use a space heater or other non-approved appliances for heating your outdoor animal house. These can become a fire hazard. Pet stores sell heated mats for pets to sleep on but be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Outside water can freeze very quickly. Make sure your pets have a constant supply of fresh water. They are not able to get enough water from licking ice or eating snow. Replenish their water supply often. You can check your local pet store for a heated water dish. In these dishes the water stays cold, but doesn't freeze.
Animals love the taste of anti-freeze; be sure that you properly discard any anti-freeze containers and clean up any spills immediately.
Never let your dog off leash during times when it is snowing. Dogs can lose their scent and become lost during a snowstorm.
After taking your dogs for a walk, make sure and wipe off his/her legs/feet/stomach. Dogs can ingest salt, antifreeze or other chemicals brought in from outside while licking their paws and stomach.
Consider getting your pet a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to underneath the belly.
Puppies and senior dogs do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs. Take them outdoors only to relieve themselves. If you are potty training, consider training indoors with paper or potty-training pads.
Never shave your dog down to the skin in the winter. Longer coats will provide more warmth. Completely dry your dog after bathing before taking outside.
Pets do not know the difference between thin ice and frozen-solid ice. Once an animal falls in, it is very difficult for them to climb out and hypothermia can become a life-threatening situation.
Cats will seek out the warmth of a car engine. Before starting your car, knock on the hood or honk the horn to scare off any cats seeking the warmth of your car.
Arthritis is worse during the colder months. For pets that seem to be moving a little slower, speak with your vet or consult a pet store for medicines that can help with joint pain and take special care when walking on icy walkways. ~(Source: Lynette Judd)
Your monetary donations help keep our doors open. We do not receive any help from national organizations such as ASPCA, PETA, HSUS or any other group. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Your tax-deductible donation to our shelter will help only Dyersburg/Dyer County homeless animals. Many of these pets have been abused and neglected and all were unwanted for some reason or another. We have been helping homeless pets for over 30 years. Specify who your donation is to with complete address where notification or acknowledgment should be sent and your complete address. We will do the rest. Categories are: The Beagley Fund (heartworm treatment for shelter pets only), General Fund, Champ Lewis Fund (monetary dog adoption assistance), Save a Life Makeover (professionally clip and groom to make a pet more adoptable), Honorariums and Memorials. I would like to mention that every dog who benefitted from Save a Life Makeover has been adopted. Please mail your tax deductible check to the Dyersburg/Dyer County Humane Society, P.O. Box 223, Dyersburg, TN 38025-0223. Thank you for helping the animals.
Shelter hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. The shelter is closed to the public on Sunday. We are located at 1120 E. Court St. and phone number is 285-4889.