Now that the temperatures are dropping, your pets will require extra attention in order to keep safe and warm. Their natural fur coats aren’t enough at time, so here are a few “winterizing” tips for the season:

• Antifreeze is lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to clean up spills thoroughly.
• Frozen water can’t help a thirsty pet. Checkoutdoor water bowls to break any ice, and refill them regularly.
• Never leave your dog alone in the car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your dog literally could freeze to death.
• Increase your pet’s food supply, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy.
• Keep your cats inside, especially the dead of winter. Cats can easily freeze outside during cold weather.
• Check under the hood of your car before starting. Cats sometimes sleep there when the engine is warm. When you start the engine, a sleeping cat could become caught in the fan belt. Last winter, a kitten was brought to the SPCA with a broken jaw as a result of such a mishap. The kitten recovered, but it was a sad sight.
• If your dog stays outside, make sure he has a warm place to sleep. It should be off the ground, preferably – on a cardboard box or in a basket with warm blankets or straw. Make sure it provides protection from sleet, heavy wind or snow.

Just Say No – To Leftovers

Chocolate can be lethal to pets – don’t feed it to them. And after you’ve stuffed yourself, don’t be tempted to load up your pet’s bowl with leftovers.

And remember: Turkey bones are dangerous to both dogs and cats because they splinter.

Puppies As Presents

The SPCA suggests giving a gift certificate, rather than a live puppy, so the recipient can select his own pet. Also, trying to deal with a new puppy around the holidays can be a handful.

Select a more quiet time, either a few weeks before or after the holidays, to add a four-legged member to your family.

SPCA Gift Ideas

For the person who has everything, why not purchase a brick for the SPCA’s Brick PetWalk. It’s a lasting, loving gift with a three-line imprint to honor a special friend. And it’s $50.

We also offer a cage sponsorships ranging from $175 for a puppy or kitten cage to $300 for a cat or small dog cage to $500 for a large dog run. A red-and-white plaque with your honoree’s name is hung on the designated cage for one year, with proceeds helping care for homeless animals waiting for adoption.

For organized friends, try the 1993 SPCA Calendar Notebook, full of whimsical, black-and-white photographs of pets and their parents. The calendar is comparable in size to a Day Runner, with week-at-a-glance and month-at-a-glance sections and pet services directory. It’s $45.

If you need sweatshirts, T-shirts and coffee mugs for stocking stuffers, we’ve got them. We even have special dog/cat treat baskets for good, little pets, Proceeds benefit animal care at the SPCA.

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