Predicted temperatures in the 9 to 13 degree range this weekend will be deadly for pets, prompting Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control to send out a warning of the dangers ahead.
Among the strangest of the warnings: Cats stuck outdoors could crawl into your vehicle engine to stay warm and it won’t be pretty when you turn that key in the morning. It’s one of those rare cases where a purring engine is not a good thing.
“When the engine is started, the cat can be killed or seriously injured by the fan blade or belt,” noted a statement from Melissa Knicely, of Animal Care and Control.
Here are some other tips:
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- Bringing pets indoors into heated spaces is the best option, says the department. Outdoor pets need a sheltered place that is well bedded with dry straw, shavings or blanket strips that trap warm air. Check the bedding often and change it when it’s wet.
- Outdoor pets need more food during the winter, because extra calories allow them to produce more heat.
- Wipe off dog’s legs, feet and stomach when they come inside out of snow or ice. They can ingest salt, antifreeze or other dangerous chemicals if they lick their paws. Be sure to inspect the pads of their feet for encrusted ice as they may crack from the cold.
- Dogs with very short coats have the least tolerance for cold. They should not go outside without one of those cute little doggie sweaters or a coat.