Suffolk County SPCA: Protect Your Pet During This Frigid Weather

Adverse weather conditions combined with the possibility of snow require action from pet owners.

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Photo by: OLID56

Suffolk County, NY - December 29, 2017 - Cold weather can be as dangerous for pets, as it is for humans. Pets have a more difficult time regulating their body temperatures and may be more susceptible to problems from extreme temperatures. 
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather.
Keep your pets indoors during this frigid weather 
  • If left unattended outdoors they can get frostbite or become disorientated and freeze to death. Hypothermia can result from extended exposure to cold and is life-threatening condition.
  • In Suffolk County,  you cannot tether, leash, secure, tie, pen or confine a dog outside when the temperature is below 32° Fahrenheit. 
  • Be Alert to Frostbite: Skin can turn red, white or gray and scaly. If you suspect frostbite, contact your vet immediately. 
Be Aware of Exposure Time  
  • Dogs who are ill, old, very young, or shorthaired cannot endure prolonged exposure to winter weather. Take them out only to relieve themselves.  Many dogs need boots in winter weather, regardless of coat length.  If your dog frequently lifts up his paws, whines or stops on his walks, his feet are uncomfortably cold and may need dog booties for his paws. 
  • Remember, clean your pet's feet. Salt can irritate or burn, as well as causing vomiting and in some pets can even cause seizures.  Antifreeze has a sweet, attractive smell to pets and can be deadly if ingested. 
  • Be careful with cats. Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats who may crawl under the hood.  Bang on the hood before starting the car to scare them away.
  • If you have bunnies who live outside, make sure they have a warm, dry hutch with plenty of bedding that is out of the wind.  Water is important too as is some extra food.  Cover the hutch with a tarp.  
Remember this is the law and will be enforced! If you feel cold so does your pet.
The Suffolk County SPCA, established in 1984, is a private, nonprofit, charitable organization and the voice for animals in Suffolk County.  We are not affiliated with, a subdivision of, or funded by any other local, state or national humane organization We do not receive taxpayer or public funding.  Please help us to provide a better life for pets and other animals in Suffolk County.