MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - With winter season directly ahead, Okemos Veterinarian Gail Wolfe shares a few tips to keep your animal safe.
Just like humans need extra protection during the colder months so do your pets.
"It's very important that they have shelter from the cold if they're going to be outdoors," said Gail Wolfe, Okemos Veterinarian at Bennett Road Animal Clinic. "A dog house with straw in it facing away from the wind with perhaps a door hanging down or that they can push open to get in but its best to keep them inside."
Many animals enjoy being outside but owners should be aware of the harmful effects of being exposed to the elements for long periods of time. Wolfe recalled seeing cats with frost bitten ears and even animals who had frozen to death, mostly strays.
Many products that can be found in the garage have been said to cause many issues with pets such as antifreeze and salt.
"Dogs with hair between their pads on their feet can get little salt balls or snowballs up between their pads and that can hurt their/ injure their feet. So you need to keep the hair trimmed and keep little booties on them or little socks to protect their feet," said Wolfe.
Wolfe says that if there are strays in your neighborhood you can help them too.
"It's harder for them to catch mice and birds in the winter so yeah giving them some food should help and of course if there's trap/neuter release programs that's help the population explosion," said Wolfe.
The Humane Society of the United States also suggests that before turning on your vehicle tap on the hood. Many stray cats will seek shelter under the tires. Tapping the hood will scare the animal away and avoid injury.
Last, animals should also be as hydrated as possible. If there is a water bowl outdoors for the pet they should be frequently changed to avoid the water freezing.