Remember to protect pets from the cold

ALPENA — Since the temperatures have hit the single digits the urge to stay indoors is strong for many people.

However, pets don’t always have a choice. To ensure pets are safe and healthy people can take a few steps.

Alpena Veterinary Clinic Dr. Joann Greenfield said it takes common sense when it comes to winter pet care.

“Just know if it’s cold for you it’s cold for them,” she said.

When indoor pets are let outdoors she said to stay with them.

“If you have outdoor pets they need some sort of shelter. If it’s a kennel make sure the temperature is similar to indoors. It would basically make sure there’s wind protection, that’s huge; a roof, four walls, different bedding,” she said.

People also should increase the amount of bedding they provide the animal. She said one of the best things someone can do is go outside and test the shelter themselves.

Huron Humane Society employee Jason Sorensen said people should observe their pets when they’re outside. He said an insulated structure to protect outdoor pets is key.

“With cats the best thing are Rubbermaid totes and put blankets in it. Keep the opening pointed away from the wind. It’s optimal if they are able to keep them indoors,” he said. “If you’re taking them outside. Help them cover the pads in their toes. They will start to tear open if they don’t have fur. They can really scrape the pads across the ice. Even deep snow. It’s cute to watch them bounce around outside in the snow but they need protection sometimes.”

To protect paws from ice and salt Greenfield said there are booties to buy for dogs.

“They have to work with them to get use to it. Walking with them would help them work on it. I know that my dogs get ice balls in between the toes because they have longer, fuzzier paws. So with that in mind I would keep that fur trimmed shorter,” she said.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.