Keeping your pets safe during the blizzard

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Monday, January 26, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The ASPCA issued a pet safety alert for the blizzard, advising owners to make sure their furry friends stay safe and warm.

The ASPCA is reminding people that it's too dangerous for us, it's too dangerous for our pet as well.

Here are some tips:

--Pets should stay indoors as much as possible during winter months, but this is especially true with the impending storm - please bring them inside immediately, and limit their time outside for brief bathroom trips through the duration of the storm.

--When they do go out, make sure they're prepared: depending on their breed, coat thickness and size - they may need a coat. If they have sensitive paws, make sure they're wearing their booties. And ALWAYS walk them with their leash, collar and ID tag in case the unthinkable happens.

--Once you've brought them back inside after doing their business, clean them off. Make sure to towel dry your pet right away, paying special attention to their paws, paw pads and the spaces between their toes, because ...

--Winter walks can turn dangerous quickly if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off legs and paws. Be sure to secure winter weather products like anti-freeze and ice melts, keeping them out of your pet's reach.

--If you see a pet in distress, report it. If you're in NYC and you see an animal without adequate shelter, food or water, please call 311. If you see animal cruelty in progress, call 911. Those outside of NYC should contact their local law enforcement or animal control, depending on the municipality.

--If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.

--If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.

The following tips on winter pet safety are provided by the Humane Society of the United States:

--If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet's body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

--Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet's paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

For more information on how to help protect pets, please visit