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Don’t forget about your pets

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We all want to stay warm. Last week reminded us of that.
    But as we prepare for the next blast of winter weather, it’s important that we also remember to have a plan to keep our pets warm.
    After all, they are counting on us to take care of them, especially if they are outdoor dogs or cats.
    To help keep your entire family safe and warm, the American Red Cross and the Humane Society suggest a number of winter safety reminders for both you and your pets.
    Pet Safety in the Winter
    If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.
    If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
    If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
    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.
    They’re our responsibility and they’re counting on us.