Pet safety tips during cold weather

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 18, 2024

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FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office reminds our community the importance of keeping pets safe and warm during the winter season.

As overnight temperatures forecast to fall into the teens this week, we must remember that safety and warmth are necessities for our family members, including our household pets. Below are some essential tips to help keep pets warm and healthy during the winter.

• Bring pets indoors when frigid temperatures are in the forecast.

• Provide a dry, draft-free shelter and bedding such as shavings or straw for pets that can’t be brought indoors. The shelter floor should be a few inches off the ground with a doorway covered with burlap or heavy plastic.

• Be sure your pets always have access to fresh water as sub-freezing temperatures can quickly freeze a bowl of drinking water.

• Dry off your pet when they come in from being outside in the snow, ice, sleet or rain.

• Short-haired dog breeds benefit from a coat or sweater to keep them warm.

• Pay close attention to your puppy or kitten’s behavior in cold weather; puppies and kittens are more sensitive to cold weather than adult dogs and cats.

• Feed active dog breeds protein-rich food to keep the coat thick and healthy.

• Secure antifreeze and other coolants where they are not accessible for pets to ingest.

• Leave the length of your pet’s fur longer during the winter months.

• Keep your pet’s bed inside, away from vents and windows.

• Check your vehicle fan belt for cats before starting the engine. Outdoor cats commonly seek shelter under the hood of a vehicle.

• Ensure your dogs and cats wear an identification tag in case they get lost. In Forsyth County, it is the law for dogs to wear an identification tag.

The sheriff’s office is passionate about keeping our community safe, including all the beloved pets in Forsyth County. Pet owners are encouraged to pay close attention and care for their pets every month of the year, but especially during the extreme weather of the winter and summer months.

Anyone with information related to animal cruelty or any other criminal activity should contact the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office directly at 336-727-2112; anonymously text information, photos and video via Text-A-Tip at 336-920-8477; or anonymously call Crimestoppers at 336-727-2800 for English or 336-728-3904 for Spanish. To report information concerning juvenile behavior or request juvenile intervention resources, call our Juvenile Intervention and Investigation Team (JIIT) number at 336-917-7030; you may remain anonymous.