The following is a republished press release from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and NOT written by The Ithaca Voice. Click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at koconnor@ithacavoice.com.

Don’t let Frisky freeze!

Dr. Brian Collins is a veterinarian for the Cornell University Hospital for Animals at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Collins says:

“Pet-proof the storage and disposal of wintertime hazards. The active ingredient in most brands of antifreeze is ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting liquid that can be attractive to an animal, but is highly toxic. Store it where it is out of reach of pets, and clean up any spills right away. The ashes from wood stoves and fireplaces can burn pets if they contain live embers. Make sure the ashes are cool before removing them.”

“Animals that live in cold-weather climates are at risk for hypothermia, a potentially fatal drop in body temperature that can result from prolonged exposure to a freezing environment. Very young animals, older animals, and short-haired breeds are the most vulnerable.”

“If a dog is picking up its feet or seems reluctant to walk this may be a sign that he/she is too cold. Small and short-haired dogs may need coats for short walks in cold, windy weather. They may need boots if they will be outside for longer periods of time. Dogs that live in areas where salt is used to control ice may need boots or to have their feet washed off when coming indoors. Longer-haired dogs may collect ice and snow on their feet, so check them regularly while outdoors. And consider trimming the fur on the feet to help prevent ice accumulation.”

“Cats are drawn to warmth. Close the door to the clothes dryer, and get in the habit of knocking on the hood of your car to scare away any cats warming themselves on the engine.”

“Dogs and cats who spend time outdoors should have shelter from the wind and cold as well as a source of fresh water. Straw works well as an insulator in dog houses.”

Featured image by DaPuglet/Flickr.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.