Winter weather can be deadly for pets even in typically warmer climates such as Florida where pets are not accustomed to colder temperatures. Follow these simple tips to ensure your pet stays safe and warm during the cold season:
- Keep pets indoors and warm. The best prescription for the winter cold is to keep your pet indoors with you and your family. If it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s probably too cold for your dog or cat. If the temperature falls below 40 degrees, pets need to be brought indoors or provided adequate ways to stay warm (extra blankets, coats, heaters, hay or shavings, etc.).
- Check your car before starting the engine. During the winter, outdoor cats will search for warmer hiding places, such as under the hoods of cars. Honk your horn or tap the hood of your car before starting the engine so they can escape.
- Cozy bed to keep warm. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep that is away from drafts and protects them from the weather. A cozy dog bed or cat bed is perfect.
- Speak out if you see a pet left out in the cold. If you see any animal in distress, please make note of the type of pet, the exact address or location, and contact Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200, extension 0.
- Special care for horses and livestock. Larger pets often cannot be brought indoors; however, there are many ways you can provide safe, warm housing for them. Be sure horses and livestock have access to a barn or 3-sided structure to protect them against wind and cold. Blankets will keep a horse warm and dry from rain. Provide additional hay and shavings for insulation.
- Provide plenty of food and water. Your pet should always have access to fresh food and water.
For additional information, call 561-233-1200 or visit www.pbcgov.com/animal.