During extremely cold weather, the City of Kansas City, Mo., wants to remind residents to take precautions to protect their pets. The City’s Animal Health staff will impound pets found outside during extreme conditions and issue citations to their owners. Residents may report pets left outdoors by calling the City’s 311 Call Center at 311 (or 816-513-1313) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call the non-emergency police line at 816-234-5111 to report pets left outside after-hours.
According to the Humane Society of Missouri, here are a few tips to protect your pet during these extreme temperatures.
–Keep your pet inside. Pets can develop frostbite on their ears, tail and paws quickly. Take precautions to limit their time spent outdoors as much as possible to keep them safe. In addition, be sure to keep portable heaters out of reach from your pets indoors, as these devices can burn them.
–Provide adequate shelter. Adequate shelter is required by law. Dogs that live outdoors must reside in a well-insulated and draft-free doghouse. The opening should face south with a sturdy covering preventing ice and wind from entering. The shelter’s floors should be lined with straw (not hay). Cats should be kept inside a home at all times.
–Be aware of antifreeze and rock salt. Pets might be attracted to the sweetness of antifreeze and rock salt, but it is lethally poisonous. Watch your pet and make sure it avoids contact with these products. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze or rock salt, contact your vet immediately. These products can also irritate your pet’s footpads; be sure to clean your pet’s paws after being outside.
–Dry off wet pets. Towel or blow-dry pets that get wet from rain or snow.
–Provide adequate food and water. In cold temperatures, pets require extra energy to regulate their body temperature. This means that may need extra food/calories, especially if they’ve spent time outside. Be sure to provide fresh water – snow is not a substitute for water.