(Northeast PA, January 21, 2014) Winter weather can be hard on all of us. It can be particularly difficult on our pets that rely on us for their wellbeing. With frigid temperatures once again descending on the Northeast, the American Red Cross has winter safety reminders to help keep your 4-legged family members safe and warm.
During colder temperatures:
• Pets should not be outside while temperatures remain in single digits. Bring your pet inside.
• Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe the animal’s paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
• Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.
In case you need to evacuate:
• If you need to evacuate your home, know which hotels and motels will accept you and your pets in an emergency. .
• Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.
• Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. Many pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.
• Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian.
Have a Pet Preparedness Kit:
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.
• Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener.
• Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.
• A first aid kit.
• Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help to eliminate mistaken identity and confusion.
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
• Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.
Additionally, now is a great time to download the new Red Cross Pet First Aid App. The Pet First Aid App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. There are first aid tips for Frostbite and Hypothermia, in addition to many other features, such as:
• Create a pet profile including tag identification number, photos, list of medications and instructions.
• Use “click-to-call” to contact their veterinarian.
• Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians with the “animal hospital locator.”
• Locate pet-friendly hotels.
• Take interactive quizzes and earn badges with the ability to share on social networks along with favorite pet photos.