Martinez, CA – Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) is encouraging residents to keep their animals indoors this weekend, as weather forecasts are predicting the coldest temperatures of the year. Temperatures are expected to be in the 20’s and 30’s beginning Sat. night and extending into early next week.
“In weather this cold it is important to limit your pet’s exposure to freezing temperatures, says Beth Ward, Director of Contra Costa Animal Services. Taking shorter walks, ensuring that outdoor housing is equipped with insulation and proper bedding, these are all steps people can take to ensure their animal’s safety during frigid temperatures.
CCAS recommends that animals never be left outside alone. If you witness an animal in distress, please call animal services at 925-608-8400 to report an animal in need.
CCAS has provided the following tips to help pet owners protect their pets during cold weather periods:
- Keep your pet inside whenever possible. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from drafts.
- Always keep an ID tag on your pet’s neck to make sure they don’t get lost. If you lose your pet, visit animal welfare’s website to see if they have been found.
- If you keep your pet outside, ensure they have a warm, covered place to escape from rain and snow. Pay close attention to their water dish since it can freeze quickly.
- During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin during winter. When you bathe your dog, make sure it is completely dry before allowing it to walk around.
- Consider getting a coat or sweater with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly for short-haired breeds.
- Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. The car can act as a refrigerator in freezing temperatures, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
- Puppies do not tolerate the cold and may be difficult to housebreak during cold weather. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may want to paper train the puppy inside or only take them outdoors for bathroom breaks.
- If your dog enjoys spending time outside, give them more food than usual to help them grow a thick fur coat.
- Like coolant, antifreeze is lethal for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.