by SAM HYER Pets need more than just a fur coat to keep warm and safe in winter. Cold weather has safety and health concerns for both people and pets. As a responsible owner, it is important to pay attention to your pet’s well-being during the cold Michigan winter. The American Kennel Club® and I, offer the following advice to help you and your pet survive the long, cold winter. Provide plenty of fresh water – Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, and snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water. Provide plenty of food – Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperatures regulated, so additional calories are necessary. Dogs that are kept indoors with the family, and get less exercise during winter months, may actually gain weight, so keep an eye on his diet. Keep your dog’s paws dry – Rinse your dog’s feet and dry them completely after a walk. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking. Groom your dog regularly – Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Towel or blow-dry your dog if he gets wet from rain or snow. When you towel your pet be sure to blot, not rub, as that can lead to severe matting. Comb out your pet more often in the winter to keep the skin healthy. Keep your dog warm, dry, and away from drafts – Adequate shelter is a necessity. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold. Place blankets and pads on floors in these areas. Watch out for the following winter hazards: Cold – Don’t leave your dog outside for long periods of time. Wind/chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings, and dogs are susceptible to frostbite on their ears, tails, and feet. Ice and snow – Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog outside. Your pup could slip or jump in a frozen lake, river, or pond and get seriously injured. Snow can muffle scents, and your dog can […]
It’s not late to find the love of a lifetime. The Humane Society of Kent County encourages the community to find their perfect pet companion at Meet Your Match, a Valentine’s Day themed Adopt-A-Thon on Saturday, February 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature reduced fees – $50 cat and kitten adoptions (reg. $95), $75 dog and puppy adoptions (reg. $125) and pet identification microchipping for only $15. Visitors will also enjoy light refreshments and can enter a raffle for a free cat-themed basket. The Humane Society hopes potential adopters will fall in love with a pet companion in anticipation of this Valentine’s Day. The Humane Society of Kent County has dozens of pets waiting to find their way into new, loving homes. The Humane Society is located at 3077 Wilson N.W. Grand Rapids. For more information call (616) 791-8089.