Female and dog in slippers. Warm clothing family home

Hi Everyone… I hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful and I pray that 2020 is a brighter year for all of us. I thought I’d dedicate this column to ways in which you can help your pets and other animals survive yet another Winter Wonderland (excerpts from an article by Jon Comulada).

  • Keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
  • Dog sweaters! Short-haired dogs are especially sensitive to cold air, and wind chill can cause frostbite, which can lead to permanent damage.
  • Build an outdoor shelter for your pet.
  • Don’t forget about the stray cats in your neighborhood. If you see one and can do so, offer them shelter in your home, along with some food and water. If that’s not an option, but you have a screened-in porch, maybe offer access and place a box and some blankets in there – or even just a box with some towels could help save them.
  • If you’re driving anywhere, bang on the hood of your car a few times to scare off any small animal that might have sought shelter.
  • Protect your dog’s paws from salt.
  • Build a brush pile for wild animals to shelter in.
  • You may need to feed your pet more food than usual.
  • Provide water for wild animals whose usual water source may have frozen over.
  • Always buy nontoxic antifreeze.
  • Dry your pets off when they come in from outside.
  • Let your pet’s fur grow out for the winter.
  • Combat your pet’s dry skin with a humidifier.
  • Don’t leave your pets alone if you’re traveling.
  • If you do brave the snow for a walk, keep your dog on a leash.

Finally, and most importantly: Speak out if you see a pet left outside! No pet deserves to be left out in the cold. If you see one, voice your concerns to the owner. If nothing changes, report it to your local animal control agency or the police. Document the date, time and location… and take pictures. Make no mistake: Animal abuse is a crime! Don’t be afraid to call 311 or 911 if that’s your only option.

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Article by Diana Clemente

Diana Clemente is President of the Black Car Assistance Corporation and Big Apple Car.

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