Take the Warm Pet Pledge: Protect Our Furry Friends
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As the temperatures drop, it's important to remember the risks that our pets face during the winter. Take the Warm Pet Pledge and keep animals safe!
As winter approaches and temperatures drop, it is important to remember the risks that our beloved pets face. Many people may not realize the dangers of leaving pets tethered outside in the cold, as well as the environmental conditions that can prompt a physiological change in animals leading to death1.
One of the main risks for pets during the winter is hypothermia. This occurs when an animal's body temperature drops below normal, leading to a variety of symptoms such as shivering, lethargy, and even unconsciousness. In severe cases, hypothermia can be fatal2. Dogs and cats, like humans, are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, especially if they are left outside without proper shelter or warmth. Pets with short hair or thin coats, as well as those that are elderly or have health issues, are particularly vulnerable3.
Another risk for pets during the winter is being tethered outside4. Tethering a pet outside, particularly in cold weather, can be incredibly dangerous and can lead to hypothermia, frostbite, and even death. Tethering a pet outside also limits their movement, making it difficult for them to find shelter or warmth. Pets that are tethered outside also have a higher risk of being injured or killed by other animals or by passing cars5.
In addition to hypothermia and tethering, there are other conditions that can lead to death6. For example, animals can suffer from dehydration and starvation if they do not have access to fresh water and food, or if the food and water sources freeze over.
To protect our pets during the winter, it is important to provide them with proper shelter and warmth. This can include a warm, insulated dog house or a cozy bed inside the house. It is also important to provide them with fresh water and food that is not frozen. If you must take your pet outside, make sure they are properly insulated with a warm coat or sweater, and that they have access to shelter and warmth at all times.
Take the Warm Pet Pledge and keep pets warm and comfortable during the winter or an unexpected cold snap!
- Stephanie Graflage, FOX4 (10 December 2019), "Tyrann Mathieu spends time in freezer to show dangers of leaving pets outside in cold temperatures."
- Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (22 January 2020), "Cold Weather Danger: Hypothermia In Dogs."
- Dr. Jerry Klein, CVO, American Kennel Club (18 February 2021), "Can Dogs Get Frostbite?"
- The Humane Society of the United States (2023), "Chaining and tethering dogs FAQ."
- Michigan State University Animal Legal & Historical Center (2022), "Map of State Dog Tethering Laws."
- Jan Reisen, American Kennel Club (29 June 2021), "Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs."
As a pet owner, I pledge to take all necessary steps to ensure the warmth and comfort of my pet during the winter and any unexpected cold snaps. I understand that pets are vulnerable to the cold and that it is my responsibility to protect them.
As such, I pledge to:
- Provide proper shelter
I pledge to ensure that my pet has a warm and insulated dog house or a cozy bed inside the house where they can retreat from the cold.
- Insulate my pet
I pledge to provide my pet with a warm coat or sweater when they are outside, especially if they have short hair or thin coats.
- Provide fresh water and food
I pledge to make sure my pet has access to fresh water and food that is not frozen.
- Keep them active
I pledge to provide regular exercise for my pet, even in the winter, to keep them active and maintain their body temperature.
- Regular check-ups
I pledge to take my pet for regular check-ups with a veterinarian, especially if they are older or have health issues, to ensure they are in good health and can handle the cold weather.
- Maintain a consistent temperature
I pledge to keep the temperature inside my home consistent and provide extra bedding to keep them warm.
- Provide extra bedding
I pledge to add extra blankets or a heated pad to my pet's bedding to ensure they stay warm and cozy when temperatures drop.
- Groom them
I pledge to ensure that my pet is groomed regularly to remove any dead hair and keep their coat in good condition
- Limit outdoor time
I pledge to limit the amount of time my pet spends outside during extreme cold weather.
- Keep an eye on their behavior
I pledge to pay attention to my pet's behavior and watch for signs of hypothermia or frostbite and seek veterinary attention immediately if I notice any signs of distress.
I understand that by taking these steps, I am ensuring the safety, comfort, and well-being of my pet during the winter months and unexpected cold snaps.