Taking extra care of pets as temperatures dip

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Photo Courtesy of Ana Bustilloz Arctic is available for adoption at spcaLA.

Comedians enjoy poking fun at Southern Californian’s reaction to cold weather, but in all seriousness, Angelenos are not accustomed to cold weather and neither are our pets.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) offers the following tips to keep your pets safe: make sure your pet’s identification tags and microchips are current; pets should always have a warm, dry place to sleep and they are always safer inside; dogs of all sizes can benefit from a sweater or jacket to keep them warm and make sure the clothing is intended for dogs and is the right size.

In addition: wipe off wet paws after being outside; don’t leave a pet inside a car during cold weather. Just as in the summer, when temperatures rise inside cars, in the winter temperatures drop.

Owners should also keep an eye on older or ill pets, as they are more sensitive to colder weather. Brushing dog’s regularly to promote a healthier coat and circulation also helps.

People should keep in mind that heaters make the air inside dry during the colder months, which depletes moisture from your dog’s skin and fur. Also, one can add blankets to a pet’s emergency preparedness pet kit.

Pet owners should also be sure that pets are secured in a crate or with a seat belt harness when driving as skidding with an unsecured pet could be catastrophic. Lastly, if using a portable heater, do not leave it with an unattended pet as they may knock it over and start a fire.

Feral cats or small wildlife may seek refuge in warm automobile engines. To avoid injuring hiding animals, bang on the car’s hood to scare them off before starting the engine.