Tips for keeping your pets safe during winter

By WEEK Producer

Tips for keeping your pets safe during winter

November 28, 2012 Updated Nov 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Cold weather has arrived in central Illinois and it's not just uncomfortable for human residents of the area but animals, too.

Peoria County Animal Protection Services (PCAPS) is reminding pet owners that animals, particularly those outdoors, need special care during the winter months.  

They offer the following tips: 

* Outdoor dogs need proper shelter consisting of a structure with four sides, a roof, a floor, and a door covering. The shelter should be small enough to retain the animal’s body heat and large enough for the animal to lie down comfortably. 

* Provide a windbreak and use wood shavings or straw as bedding.

* Put your pet inside when the temperature dips below 10º. Even though a dog or cat might survive temperatures that low, they will be extremely uncomfortable.

* Pets need fresh water available at all times – snow does not count. Give your pet more food because the extra calories help keep it warm. 

* Be careful of salt used to melt snow; it can irritate your pet’s feet.

* Be alert to antifreeze spills. Antifreeze tastes sweet and attracts animals but is almost always deadly. 

City, County, and State laws require that owners provide proper care for their animals. Pet owners will be ticketed or have their animals impounded if they fail to provide proper food, water, shelter, or medical care. If you see an animal suffering in the cold weather, please call PCAPS immediately at 672-2440.

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