Chief Seth C. DiSanto
222 Main St.
Newport VT 05855
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018
News Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newport Police Department Shares Cold Weather Safety Tips for Animals
NEWPORT — Chief Seth DiSanto and the Newport Police Department want to remind residents of tips and laws meant to protect animals from cold weather this winter.
The Newport Police Department urges residents to keep their dogs and cats inside when a weather advisory or warning has been issued. When weather conditions, such as extreme heat, cold, wind, rain or snow pose a risk to the health of the animal, it’s best to keep your pet inside for its safety.
According to The Humane Society, people should notify local law enforcement agencies if they see dogs or cats left outside in extreme temperatures, especially without food and shelter.
The Humane Society warns that dogs and cats feel the effects of winter just as much as people do, however they are often cast outside due to the misconception that their fur will insulate them from harsh conditions.
According to the State of Vermont, pet-owners must provide adequate protection from the cold, including protection from the direct effect of wind, rain or snow.
“With the winter we’ve had so far, residents need to be mindful of their pet’s safety outside,” Chief DiSanto said. “Never leave your dog or cat outside for extended periods of time or in extreme weather, and make sure to call the police department immediately if you see an animal left outside.”
For pet owners unsure of what protections their pets need during cold weather, the Humane Society provides the following tips for keeping animals safe:
- Keep pets sheltered and inside. Cats should never be left outdoors in cold weather, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs should be taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time.
- If dogs are outdoors for a majority of the day, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that’s large enough for them to move comfortably, but small enough to retain body heat.
- Shelter floors should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The door should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic material.
- Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter, as keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.
- Use plastic food and water bowls to avoid having your pet’s tongue to stick and freeze to metal bowls in cold temperatures.
- Bundle up dogs, especially short-haired dogs, with protective gear, such as sweaters and boots, to avoid the risks of frostbite and hypothermia from exposed skin and paws.
- Make sure to wipe down paws to free them of rock salt and other snow melting chemicals with a damp towel before your pet licks them and risks getting sick.
- Keep pets away from antifreeze and household chemicals as they can pose a deadly risk if ingested.
- Be aware that cats are attracted to warm engines in parked cars. To avoid injuring hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood before starting your engine.
For more cold weather protection tips and information, visit the Humane Society’s website.