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Kendall County Animal Control offers winter pet safety tips

Ulysses 8 is terrier mix available for adoptifrom Kendall County Animal Control.  |  Submitted

Ulysses, 8, is a terrier mix available for adoption from Kendall County Animal Control. | Submitted

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Updated: February 10, 2013 6:13AM

It seems that winter is finally upon us. With the cold weather come many inconveniences for people such as slippery roads and the joys of shoveling. People sometimes forget that cold temperatures can bring many dangers for pets.

Here are some things you can do to keep your animal safe this season:

Keep your pets inside whenever possible. Even though they have fur, they can still get cold quickly, especially short-haired breeds. Dogs and cats can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia. When you take your dog outside, make sure it is not for an extended period of time. If you are ready to go inside, they are most likely ready, too.

If your dog is out in the elements for an extended period of time, be sure to provide complete shelter from the wind and snow as well as a heated water source.

When you bring your dog inside, be sure to wipe down his legs and pads of his feet. Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt ice can cause great irritation to a dog’s skin or digestive tract if ingested.

Other chemicals are dangerous as well. Antifreeze is poisonous and can be deadly to animals. Be sure to clean up spills from your vehicle and keep animals out of the garage. If your pet ingests antifreeze, call your vet immediately.

Always supervise your dog around bodies of water such as lakes and streams. It is important to be cautious as dogs can easily fall through the ice and have trouble getting back on land on their own.

Be sure to keep your dog’s coat longer in the winter. If your dog will tolerate it, go ahead and put a coat or sweater on them — especially if they have short fur.

Cats can fit into very small spaces and will seek warmth wherever they can find it, including car engines. If you park your car outside, make sure you bang on the hood or honk the horn before starting your vehicle.

Cold weather can be especially hard on senior pets. They are likely to have increased soreness and move slower than usual. Be extra cautious around ice and stairs to insure they do not slip and fall.

For more advice on winter safety tips for your pet, consult your veterinarian.

To see the animals up for adoption at Kendall County Animal Control and for viewing hours, visit or call 630-553-9256.

Anna Payton is the Animal Control Warden at the Kendall County Animal Control. Contact her at

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