The Houston SPCA offers the following cold-weather tips to keep your pets safe.
• Housing: Outdoor pets should have a well-insulated house that is wind resistant, waterproof and elevated off the ground so wind and moisture can’t seep inside. Install a door flap to protect against drafts. Extra blankets and straw will increase your pet’s warmth. Room and floor heaters should be kept away from your pet since they are fire hazards and can cause injuries .
• Food and water: Provide clean water every day. Outdoor pets need to consume 25 percent to 50 percent more calories than usual because the cold weather tends to deplete their energy.
• Cats and cars: Keep your cats indoors during the winter. Not only can outdoor cats freeze, they sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by moving parts. Give an outdoor cat a chance to escape by banging loudly on the car hood before starting your car.
• Warmth: If your dog is a short-haired breed, consider getting it a sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly to keep it warm.
• Antifreeze: Dogs and cats are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol. A tiny lick can kill your pet, so check your driveway for leaks from your car. Keep containers tightly closed and clean up spills. Check your local retailer for “pet safe” antifreeze.
Information gathered from the Resources section of www.Chron.com (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/7375045.html).