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ASPCA tips on keeping your pet safe and warm in the winter

The freezing temperatures and snow and ice on the ground in the Buffalo area can make trips outside treacherous for your pet.

Here are some tips from the ASPCA on taking care of your pets -- and their tender paws -- this winter.

  • If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet so keep your animals inside.
  • Don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather. Cars hold in the cold and can cause animals to freeze to death.
  • When walking your dog, bring a towel to clean off their paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation.
  • Don't shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is short-haired, consider dressing it in a coat or sweater.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
  • Be sure to clean up any leaked antifreeze from your vehicle. It is lethal poison for dogs and cats.
  • Feed your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months.
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