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Keeping your pets safe during winter

Usually in the spring and summer, Alex Lystrup lets his dog Winston be outside for as long as he wants. However, with the days only getting colder it’s time for a change.

“We’re being a little more specific with the reasons we take him outside. We don’t just let him out and let him have at it,” Lystrup said. “We take him out specifically on walks or to places like the dog park.”

Having dogs around most of his life, Lystrup knows what the cold can do to your beloved pets.

“Winston has a nice big coat on, but he’s just as susceptible to the cold as anyone,” he said.

The Pocatello Animal Shelter recommends having your pets indoors as much as possible. It doesn’t take long for something like a small dog to die from the cold.

For families who don’t want their pets inside, shelter manager Danielle Garcia recommends making sure pets’ homes outside are kept warm.

“If you have a doghouse make sure it has lots of straw or some sort of heating mechanism,” Garcia said.

Also, while most only think of summer as a time to be extra careful of leaving pets in your car, Garcia said winter can be just as bad.

“As soon as you turn off that engine the car gets really cold. That pet is going to get cold as well. We recommend if you go out to leave your pets at home,” she said.

When you take your dogs out for walks, be sure to check their paws. Not only can ice build up, but salt and other materials used to melt the ice can irritate paws.

Cat owners are advised to keep their cats indoors at all times.

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