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Nebraska Humane Society offers advice on keeping animals safe from cold

Posted at 4:04 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 17:04:16-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With temperatures getting colder and colder, it’s important to keep your furry friend’s safety in mind and keep an eye out for stray animals, too.

Pam Wiese, spokesperson for the Nebraska Humane Society, says winter is their slowest season, but they do see animals come in that are suffering from frostbite and hypothermia.

“We caution people that if they do have animals that are outdoor animals, they need to provide proper shelter for them. It’s the law, and it’s also the thing that you should be doing for your pet,” says Wiese.

Outdoor shelters for dogs should be small enough to hold in body heat but big enough for them to walk in, turn around once and sit down. A flap should be there for cover so the wind doesn’t cut through, and there should be some insulation inside.

“You don’t want to put a blanket in... if somebody gets snow on them, then it falls off of them, then it warms up with their body heat and then freezes. It creates an ice blanket. That is actually worse for them than having nothing in there at all,” says Wiese.

Having fresh water is equally as important for outdoor animals in the winter as it is in the summer.

“You have to have fresh water year-round. You can’t have frozen water. A pet needs water to process his food, to burn calories, to stay warm,” adds Wiese.

The Humane Society sees more injuries to cats than dogs when it comes to cold. Oftentimes with frostbite on their paws, ears and noses. Free-roaming cats will search for warm places to curl up to sleep.

“Sometimes they’ll find a car with a nice warm motor to curl up on. If you park your car outside, it’s a great idea to bang on your hood before you start the engine, that wakes the cat up and gets them out of your motor,” says Wiese.

If taking your pet on a walk in the cold, Wiese suggests putting a sweater on smaller breeds.

Watch out for ice balls in between their toes, and once you get home, wipe off any ice melt that could cause stomach upset.

If you see an animal that could be in trouble because of the weather, don’t hesitate to call animal control at 402-444-7800, ext 1 and they will come to investigate.

“We’d rather check on and make sure everybody’s okay than to miss the one that isn’t okay,” adds Wiese.

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