Pets: How to keep your little pals safe in winter

Keep your little puppers warm! (Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Keep your little puppers warm! Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Winter in the Northeast is hard on everyone, including our animal companions. Metro asked some experts for tips on keeping pets safe and healthy during the cold weather.

“Small animals need extra care in winter,” says Josh Axelband, general manager of the Union Square Petco in NYC.

“Hamster and guinea pig habitats should have no cold drafts and extra bedding for warmth. In cold weather, it may be necessary to buy a stronger watt bulb to keep your reptiles’ habitat at a comfortable temperature. Exotic birds can also be harmed by cold drafts,” he adds. “If you plan to travel with your companion animal, whether it’s to the veterinarian or elsewhere, heat your car before bringing the animals inside it. Birds, lizards and cold-blooded animals need to be kept warm.”

In winter, chemically treated sidewalks and roads are added environmental hazards.

“Ice melt crystals can cause skin irritation, especially after repeated or prolonged exposure,” says Julia Pesek, MSPCA at Nevins Farm’s Community Outreach Coordinator. “Wipe paws clean with a damp cloth after trips outside, making sure no crystals are lodged between their toes. Most retailers sell animal-friendly ice-melt products, which benefit all the animals in your neighborhood and the environment. Also, antifreeze is highly toxic, and animals require emergency medical care if they ingest it. Immediately, clean up any spills thoroughly.”

“The MSPCA strongly believes that companion animals should live indoors with their human families,” adds Pesek. “If you do allow your cat outside unsupervised, provide them with a warm and safe shelter.”

The daily walk can turn painful in winter

“Just like humans, dogs, especially puppies, are sensitive to the cold. Frozen snow and broken ice and salt can cut the soft pads of your pet’s feet, so keeping them covered is a must,” says Kathi Malloy, owner of Boston’s pet emporium, Bark Place.

A popular paw protector is rubberized boots called Pawz. “The boots are inexpensive and work just like socks,” adds Malloy, “and allow your dog move comfortably without having to feel the harsh elements of winter under their feet.”

And do you really need to be told to never, ever allow a dog – or any animal — to run on frozen ponds or rivers? C’mon.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…