Keep your pets warm and safe

The cold weather is difficult on our pets. The American Red Cross in Maine has some steps people can follow to help keep their pets safe over the next few days and throughout the remainder of the winter season.

“Pet owners should bring their animals inside to protect them from the severe winter weather forecasted for the region,” said Dave Sheehan, Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Red Cross in Maine. “Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.”

Other tips pet owners should be aware of include:

Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

• Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.

• Signs of frostbite include discoloration of the frozen area, pale or even blue skin, no pain or significant pain. The pads of the paws, tail and tips of the ears are most susceptible.

• If your pet has frostbite, bring it out of the cold immediately. Spray the affected area with warm water. Lightly apply a warm compress to the area. Do not rub or apply pressure. Take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

• If pet owners would like additional information, download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App. The app provides dog and cat owners with resources on how to maintain their pet’s health and well-being and what to do during emergencies until veterinary care is available. Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images from more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations including what to do for cold-related emergencies.

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