For the Northern hemisphere, this winter has been cold, brutal and is stretching on for what seems like forever. During this freezing season, which has been called “the worst yet” – human folks can rug up, light the fire and make a hot drink – but animals aren’t quite as fortunate.
How can you help keep animals safe, without endangering yourself? These 7 educated pieces of advice by animal-rights organization PETA are here.
7 Things PETA Says Can Help Keep Animals Safe During This Cold Stretch
1. Keep Animals Inside
Small or old animals and short-haired animals are particularly susceptible to the unforgiving elements – help keep your furry friends safe by putting a sweater or coat them, while they are kept warm inside a home.
2. Don’t Allow Your Animals to Roam Freely Outdoors
Cats and dogs (and other small animals) are notorious for hiding under the body or bonnet or cars, especially those with a warm engine – however, when the car is started, these animals get severely injured, or killed. Check your car before you get in and bang loudly on the hood, in case there is an animal hiding. When there is snow or ice on the ground, animals become disorientated and won’t be acting like themselves.
3. Increase Animals’ Food Rations in Cold Weather
Like humans, animals require more energy to maintain their body heat when they’re cold; burning more calories to keep warm. Please give your furry friends more food during colder weather and get them checked for internal parasites which rob them of essential nutrients. A vet can help further advise you on adequate portions of individual animals.
4. Keep Your Eyes Out For Strays
If you find a cat outside, please take them to a shelter, vet or your home until you can find their companion owners. On the other hand, if the animal is stray and cannot be approached, they need food, water, and shelter. Your local stray rescue organization can help trap the stray safely, to bring them indoors. If you can spread the word and help find a loving owner too – the furry friends will be forever grateful.
5. Clean off Animals’, Feet, and Stomachs After they Come in From the Snow
Animals clean themselves, but as many toxic chemicals and salt are used as a gripping agent for roads – which is very dangerous when animals ingest this through cleaning. Cleaning or giving the animals a bath before they can lick off substances themselves helps prevent illness.
6. Provide Dogs Found Outdoors with Proper Shelter
Wood is superior to metal for keeping animals warm, animal houses should be kept in a sunny location during cold weather, raised off the ground and have a flap over the door to keep cold drafts at bay. Materials such as blankets and rugs can get wet and freeze, which freezes animals in turn – straw is best for cold weather bedding.
7. Buy Nontoxic Antifreeze
Even small amounts of ethylene glycol (a toxic component of antifreeze) can kill animals – but propylene glycol is safer. Sierra and Prestone Lowtox are safe brands – other antifreeze with the bittering agent denatonium benzoate are also better. As antifreeze is sweet, animals are attracted to it – ensure spills are cleaned quickly for the health of furry friends.