Animal services

Guilford Animal Services urges residents to protect their pets in cold weather

GREENSBORO – With frost setting in this morning, Guilford County Animal Services is reminding residents to take extra steps to protect their dogs, cats and other pets in cold weather.

“If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets,” the department said in a news release today.

Small, hairless, and short-haired dogs are more likely to get cold when temperatures drop.


The Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have these tips for caring for animals in cold weather:

• Keep your pets indoors when it’s cold. If dogs spend much of the day outdoors, they should be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter large enough to allow them to move around comfortably, but small enough to retain body heat. The floor of the shelter must be raised a few centimeters and covered with cedar chips. Do not use blankets or towels, as they retain moisture. The door should be covered with waterproof burlap or thick plastic. Similar housing should be provided for outdoor cats.

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• Animals that spend a lot of time outdoors in cold weather need more food because keeping warm depletes their energy.

• Use plastic food and water bowls, as your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to the metal. Check your pet’s water bowl throughout the day to make sure the water is not frozen.

• Put a waterproof coat on your dog when he is outside or a sweater when he walks. This is especially important for animals with fine coats, from Chihuahuas to pit bulls.

• Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate your pet’s paw pads. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them. Dogs are also at risk for salt poisoning. Never let your pet ingest rock salt.

• Pets and wildlife may be attracted to the engine area of ​​a vehicle in hot weather, seeking comfort. Before starting your vehicle, knock on the hood to scare the animal.

• Antifreeze is lethal to animals. Its sweet taste attracts animals, including wildlife. Wipe up any spills immediately and keep containers away from animals.

• If you encounter an animal abandoned in the cold, politely tell the owner that you are worried. Many people don’t realize that their pet is not equipped to handle the cold. If the necessary steps are not taken to protect this animal, please call Guilford County Animal Control at 336-641-5990. An officer will be dispatched to verify the welfare of the animal.