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5 Ways to Help Animals This Winter

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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5 Ways to Help Animals This Winter

It won't be long before the temperatures start dropping and the winter kicks in at full force in this part of the world. And let me tell you, pets dislike the cold as much as we do. But not all animals have the luxury of being loved by a caring human who provides for their needs.

A few loving pet owners asked me how they could help these less-fortunate animals stay comfortable and healthy during the winter months, so here are a few things you can do:

1. Bring all pets inside if at all possible. If for some reason you have one that must remain outdoors, be sure to provide them with fresh water several times a day. They cannot drink frozen water and many animals suffer from dehydration during the winter.

2. Set out bowls with extra food (dry works best) in an easily accessible area. Animals need more calories in the winter when they use more energy keeping their body temperature up and an extra snack helps with that.

3. Investigate your local animal enforcement's policy on strays and lost pets. Some areas have groups dedicated to taking in strays and others accept strays into shelters. Reporting a found animal could save their life.

4. Make a house for stray cats. I feel especially bad for outdoor cats this time of year because it is so cold and a quick, inexpensive shelter really helps with that. Just use a plastic tub like the ones used for storage (available in just about any hardware or home improvement store) to make a shelter. Put old blankets, scrap fleece, or unwanted towels inside the tub, put the lid on, and cut a cat-sized hole in the side. In just minutes you've given a stray cat some comfort!

5. Donate to animal shelters and animal welfare organizations. They can always use time, money or food.

I hope these suggestions give you some ideas to help pets in your area. Here are some more great tips on how to help your cat get through the winter.

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