With the weather forecast calling for temperatures to dip into the 20s and teens over the next several days, Charleston Animal Society is urging the public to take steps to protect their pets during this time of inclement weather.
“Because the Charleston area rarely experiences temperatures this low, it is natural that many of usare not accustomed to planning for sub-freezing temperatures,” says Dr. Lucy Fuller, Charleston Animal Society’s Senior Director of Veterinary Medicine. “However, it is very important to take some simple steps to protect pets from the bitter cold.”
Here are some tips to consider:
1. Keep cats inside. Domestic cats are not equipped for cold weather and can freeze, or become lost, stolen, injured or killed when seeking protection from the cold.
2. Provide warm shelter for feral cats. This can be provided through a variety of resources found in most homes. Simply take some kind of container, such as a storage bin, cat or dog carrier or even a sturdy box and provide it with insulation. For insulation, you can line the container with a variety or combination of things such a blanket or a pillow, Styrofoam or hay.
3. Bang loudly on your hood before starting your car. Outdoor or homeless cats often seek the warmth of a car engine. When the motor is started, a cat huddled there can be injured or killed by the fan belt.
4. Never leave pets alone in a car during cold weather. A car can trap cold in the winter, and potentially cause an animal to freeze to death.
5. Puppies and older dogs do not tolerate cold as well as younger adult dogs. During extreme cold consider taking them outside only for potty breaks.
6. Beware antifreeze! Antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Just a small amount of antifreeze can lead to kidney failure. It has a very sweet taste and animals will drink it. Never leave it laying around where a pet can get to it, and keep them out of garages and driveways where antifreeze may have leaked
A Note on Fireworks
Please also be aware that fireworks this time of year can spook an animal and cause him or her to run. Please keep a close eye on your pets outside and if possible, have them on a leash to avoid them getting lost. If your pet is lost, put his or her photo on social media, place flyers in your neighborhood and come visit us at 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, 29406, to see if your pet was brought to the shelter.