Animal Services

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  • Phone: 970-328-3647
    Fax: 970-328-2442

    Animal Services
    P.O. Box 57
    1400 Fairgrounds Road
    Eagle, Colorado 81631 

    animalservices@eaglecounty.us

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October Pet Tip - Winter Safety

Contact: Animal Services at 970-328-3647

Some pets are better suited to living outdoors than others, but there is a common misconception that dogs and cats are fine left outside in winter. That is simply not true. All pets need adequate shelter from the elements and insulation against cold weather. Pets should never be left outside for long periods in freezing temperatures.

Here are some winter weather pet tips:

  1. In or Out?
    If your pet spends most of her time in your backyard, you might want to keep her indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold area of the county. There are few pets that are able to acclimate properly to freezing temperatures.
  2. Bare Naked Truth
    If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Even the finest fur coat alone would not keep you warm against the elements.  Your pet’s fur coat is not enough protection for your pet during winter, either. Provide your dog with a warm, dry, and draft-free shelter outside; the shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.
  3. No More Frozen Dinners!
    Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold, outdoor animals need more food during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. If your pet must be outside, keep an eye on the food and water bowls to make sure they haven’t frozen. 
  4. Latest Fad Diet
    Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs.  They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter.  Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food for your indoor pet to ensure she doesn't gain weight during the long winter months.
  5. Frosty the Biting Snowman
    Frostbite is a serious problem for pets during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails, and ears.  This makes it even more important to keep your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. If, for some reason, you cannot provide a heated house, get special booties, coats, and maybe even a hat for your pet while outside and during her walks, and always be watchful for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.
  6. The Deadly Drink
    The worst of all wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It's attractive to cats, dogs and kids as it's sweet, but it is extremely deadly - even the smallest sip can be fatal. Keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage.  You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks and into neighbors' garages and yards. If you’re pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately.
  7. Salty Solution
    In areas with cold and icy winters, it's common to use salt on sidewalks and roads.  However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are harsh on pet paws, not to mention they corrode concrete and damage vegetation.  Protect your pet's paws and keep him warm during walks by outfitting him with booties.
  8. Joy Ride
    Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the wintertime; especially cold cats that climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor.  This has led to many unfortunate mishaps when motorists start their cars. Avoid such accidents by getting in the habit of tapping the hood before starting your vehicle.  Better to startle a cat awake than the alternative.