News for Immediate Release
Jan. 3, 2014
Pets Safe during Dangerous Cold Snap
Harrisburg – State officials are urging the
public to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their pets during a
dangerous cold snap across much of the state over the next few days.
“While it’s easy to think that
dogs are immune to cold because of their fur, the fact is that more dogs perish
in the winter than at any other time of the year,” said Joel Hersh, executive
director of the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team (PASART.) “Some are
better able to handle the cold than others, but taking a few simple precautions
can ensure an enjoyable winter experience for both pets and their families.”
PASART recommends these steps to
help keep pets safe during cold temperatures:
leave puppies, smaller dogs, older dogs or cats outdoors when the
temperature falls below 40 degrees.
- If your
dog or cat stays outside much of the time in the winter, be certain that
they have a proper shelter raised several inches off the ground with a
flap over the entry. Keep a fresh blanket, cedar shavings or straw to keep
the pet warm. The shelter should be large enough that your pet can sit and
stand, but small enough so the pet’s body heat will be retained in the
- Use a
plastic water bowl to ensure your pet’s tongue does not get stuck to cold
metal, and change the water often to keep it from freezing.
- Be sure
to keep older or arthritic pets inside. Escort older dogs outside for
toileting and use a leash if the yard has ice or snow. Older dogs can
easily fall and seriously injure themselves.
alert for signs of frostbite and injury. Dogs’ ears, paws and tails are
especially susceptible, and if you suspect frostbite, contact your
veterinarian. If your dog plays on ice or hard, frozen dirt, check his
paws for cuts and always wipe his feet after a walk in the snow to remove
ice pellets and salt deposits.
only pet-safe ice melt.
be alert for signs of hypothermia such as shivering, lethargy, low heart rate and unresponsiveness.
leave your dog inside a parked car. During the winter it can act as an
icebox and trap cold air inside.
The commonwealth’s ReadyPA
campaign encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency
occurs: Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Involved. More detailed information,
including downloadable emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are
available online at www.ReadyPA.org or by
calling 1- 888-9-READY-PA.
The PA State Animal Response Team
(PASART) is a private non-profit organization which receives the majority of
its funding from the federal government through the Pennsylvania Emergency
Management Agency (PEMA). For more information regarding PASART, visit www.pasart.us.
Hersh, PASART: 717-919-7495
Cory P. Angell, PEMA; 717-651-2169