BEND, Ore. -

As frigid, below-freezing temperatures hit Central Oregon, the Humane Society of Central Oregon would like to remind people to provide extra care for their pets.

  • Pets are best kept inside.
  • Bring your pet inside when the temperature drops to 32 degrees with the wind-chill factor.
  • Dogs and cats can get frost bitten ears, nose, and feet if left outside.
  • Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate paws.  Buy “pet safe” ice melters. Wash off paws if pets have walked through chemicals.
  • If your pet must be kept outside:

-Provide a dry, elevated dog house with clean dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out. Heated pet beds are available.

                -Make sure the water bowl does not freeze. Heated water bowls are available.

                -Outdoor pets need more calories to produce body heat.

  • Keep antifreeze, salt and other household poisons away from pets.
  • Make sure a cat has not crawled under your car seeking shelter and warmth near the engine. Tap on hood before starting the engine.
  • Booties allow your dog to walk in the snow and prevent injury from ice.
  • Dog jackets and sweaters are more than fashion, they will keep small, senior and single coated dogs warm.
  • Indoor pets get less exercise and expend less energy keeping warm, so feed them less.
  • Watch your pet around heating stoves to prevent burns and dehydration.
  • Horses and livestock need winter care too:

                -Make sure your horse has clean, dry bedding.  Moist bedding can cause foot infection.

                -Make sure water in trough does not freeze.   

                -Have hooves checked and prepared for winter.

Protect your pets with preventative care.  For more information call the Humane Society of Central Oregon at 541 382-3537 or visit www.hsco.org.