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news & stories from the City of Auburn

Keeping your pets safe this winter

Following just a few simple tips from Auburn Animal Control can keep your furry friends healthy as the temperatures drop.

It's important to take care of your pets as the colder temperatures come to our area. Auburn Animal Control has some essential tips to keep your pet healthy and comfortable in colder weather:

Provide Shelter: A well-constructed dog house insulated with clean, dry bedding, such as straw, wood shavings or a blanket, will help keep your dog warm. Face the dog house opening away from the direction that the wind normally blows to help hold in warmth and prevent rain infiltration. It's also a good idea to add a weather-resistant door flap. A flap can be purchased or, in a pinch, a heavy-duty fabric, old vehicle mud flap or a piece of linoleum flooring will do.

Water: Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water. Proper hydration is important to help your dog stay warm. It's also important to check water bowls often to make sure the water doesn't freeze over. To prevent lightweight bowls from tipping over, you can secure a bucket to a post or a tree, place the bucket inside of an old tire or dig a hole in the ground and place the bucket inside of it.

Food: Monitor your pet's diet. Animals expend more calories in colder months than warmer times of year to keep warm. You may need to increase your pet's daily amount of food to compensate.

Cold Sensitive Pets: Remember that colder temperatures may be harder on some pets than others. Short hair breeds, smaller breeds and dogs that are young or old are more susceptible to the cold and should be closely monitored while outdoors. If your dog is sensitive to the cold because of age, illness or breed, adjust winter care accommodations accordingly.

Hypothermia: Know the warning signs! Hypothermia is a potentially deadly condition where the body temperature falls below normal. Signs include shivering, lethargy and lack of coordination. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, immediately move the animal to a warm location and wrap it in a blanket. Contact a veterinarian while warming your pet.

If you have a concern about an animal, document what you see including the date, time, exact location, type of animal and as many other details as possible. Then contact the City of Auburn Animal Control Division at (334) 501-3090. After hours, please contact the Auburn Police Department at (334) 501-3100.