Whether you are a pet owner or pet lover, I am sure it touches your heart when you see a neglected dog, a stray cat, or read about all the pets in the shelters.
If you wonder how you can help, besides adopting them all (if only I could), here are some ideas:
First and foremost, teach and encourage people around you that they should always adopt from a shelter where they can also find pure breeds and puppies. There are some pet rescue groups that rescue specific breeds. A simple internet search can help people find these types of shelters if they are looking for a specific breed. Some even ship the pet to you from another state.
Most No Kill rescue groups don’t have a brick and mortar facility. Instead, they have volunteers who foster dogs and cats until they find a forever home, and they desperately need more foster homes. You get paid for the food and vet visits, so there’s cost for you. You only give love and attention.
Volunteers are also needed for brick and mortar shelters to walk the dogs, feed them, clean kennels, play with the cats, train dogs and socialize them.
Volunteers with computer skills are also needed. Tasks might include updating a website, accounting, photographing the new pets, etc.
If you can’t commit, donate. Watch out for local food drives or do it whenever you have time. Also consider donating dog toys, pet beds, bed sheets, or money.
Take part in adoption days. These are usually done once a week at a Petco store, vet clinic, etc.
Just walk in or call a shelter near you and ask how you can help. No volunteer will ever be turned down.
You may volunteer with pet rescue groups on a regular basis or just when you have time. Remember the dogs and cats who need you.
Find out more information about Animal Shelters & Rescues.
Every dog or cat owner is likely to encounter at least one emergency or incident where they fear that something is wrong with their pet. Of course, if it’s possible, you’ll head to the vet. However, many pet owners will search the internet for solutions when they’re unsure of what to do.
Now, for those who turn to technology during a pet’s emergency, the Red Cross has developed a new pet first aid app. Here are some of its features:
You can customize the app for each of your pets (cats and dogs).
You’ll be guided step-by-step through emergency situations.
You’ll get advice regarding a range of topics such as behavioral issues, administering medication, natural disaster procedures, and saying goodbye.
You can watch pet first aid instructional videos.
The app sounds great; however, I haven’t used it yet, so I can’t personally endorse it. You can decide for yourself by checking it out on the Red Cross site and downloading it to your phone from the app store or Google play for $0.99.
More information can be found at the Red Cross.
Now that the cold weather is here for the next few months, pet owners should consider a few changes in order to keep their dog or cat warm and healthy.
If you feel the cold, your pets feel it too. Some breeds are more tolerant to the weather, such as big, healthy dogs with thick fur. However, small breeds and puppies are more sensitive to cold. Dogs with arthritis and joint issues may suffer when the temperature is low as well. Dog clothes such as sweaters or coats can be very useful, as long as the clothes fit your pet and allow him to move freely.
Walking in Cold Weather
When the temperature is around zero, consider a shorter walk if your dog doesn’t look like he is enjoying it.
As always, after the walk, check the dog’s paws for frostbite and wipe away the moisture (wipe all of his body if he is wet). When you give him a bath, check his skin. Bad frostbite causes redness or even lesions. If the dog’s paws are sensitive to the cold, consider getting dog boots.
Caring for Pets in Cold Weather – Simple Tips
First and foremost, if the pet lives outside, simply bring them in. If this is not possible, organize a warm shelter with a small opening that will keep the dog or cat from the cold winds and the snow. Consider doing this for any feral cats in your neighborhood as well. The recommendation is to line the shelter with straw that won’t freeze like a blanket or hay will. Make sure the pet’s water does not freeze and put a mat where it’s dry for the pet to sleep on.
Other things to consider:
Keep the heat on for your pets when you leave the house.
Before starting your car, make sure there are no furry guests under the vehicle trying to keep warm.
Antifreeze and ice melters are toxic for pets. Instead, use a pet-friendly ice melter that is safe for pets and children.
If your dog starts limping in the winter, check to see if salt is stuck on his pad.
Taking special precautions and caring for pets in cold weather can help prevent our animals from being injured or even dying due to prolonged exposure to cold.