Although they’re equipped with fur, dogs, cats, and other animals can still suffer from frostbite and exposure as well as dehydration if their water sources freeze. Cold temperatures mean extra hardship for “backyard dogs,” who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or medical care. Here are some things that you can do to help animals during the winter:

1. Keep your dogs and cats indoors. If you’re cold, they’re probably cold, too.

2.During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started. Hit the hood of your car before starting it to alert any kitty who may have climbed inside. ?❤️

Cat on Tire

smart cat--the brilliant kittie Didi! | Lori | CC BY 2.0 

3. Take roaming animals indoors until you can find their guardians, or take them to an animal shelter. If strays won’t let you come near them, provide them with food and water and call your local animal shelter for help.

4. Wipe off your dogs’ and cats’ legs, feet, and belly when they come inside. Salt and other chemicals used on roads and sidewalks can make your animals sick if they lick them off their fur or paws and ingest them.

5. Keep an eye out for “backyard dogs” in your area. Make sure they have fresh water, shelter, and plenty of food. Politely urge owners to let their animals indoors, and call the police or animal control immediately if you see a dog who is emaciated, is obviously ill or injured, or has no shelter or cannot access it. If authorities don’t respond quickly, contact PETA.

6. Share this post with your friends and family to spread the word about the dangers to animals in cold weather!

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