Hi, everyone! Its me, Sammy-Joe, here with another super smart episode of Smarty Sunday! I can't believe its been a week already!
The other day it snowed here in Chicago, where we live. It may have snowed where you live to! Do you pets know how to keep yourselves safe during the winter? I thought I'd talk about this today, now that it is officially winter! Let me share them with you.
1. Dogs and cats... You may love to play outside in the snow! But watch the weather, and trust your humans to use their best judgement about how long you should stay out. If it is so cold that your human doesn't want to stay out for very long, then you probably shouldn't stay out very long either. I know sometimes we don't notice the cold until it is too late! If it is below freezing, especially, just go outside long enough to do your potty business and then hurry back in. Some pets might like to wear coats to help keep them warm. But if you do wear a coat, ask your human to supervise you just in case you get caught on something!
2. Your humans have probably heard that they should not leave you alone in a hot car in the summer. But do they know that the same goes for a cold car in winter? The car can act as a refrigerator, making it even colder inside there than it is outside. If you are left alone, you could get hypothermia. Please make sure your parents know this!
3. If you do go outside on a snowy day, make sure you are wearing your collar with your ID tag at all times. If you go for a walk, ask your parents to keep you on your leash. Why? The snow can mess up the scents that we are used to. If we wander off and get lost, we might not be able to find our way back home using our trusty noses. If we are wearing our collars with ID tags, we have a better chance of getting a helpful human to take us home.
4. Cats... if you are allowed to roam free outdoors, do not climb into the hood of a car to stay warm. It is a bad idea! The human may not know you are there, and if he starts the car, you could be seriously injured or even killed. If you, or other cats in your neighborhood, do roam free, ask your humans to bang on the hood of their car before they start it up in the morning. This will scare away any cats that might be curled up underneath.
5. When you come in from playing outside, do not lick your fur until your parents have dried you off! I know you probably have snow and ice on your fur and you want to clean yourself off. But the snow and ice could have salt, antifreeze, and other chemicals in it, and that could make you sick! So tell your humans to dry you off with a towel as soon as you come in. Don't try to do the job yourself with your tongue. Have them dry your feet off well, too.
6. What if you do get lost, or sneak out, and end up being outside in the cold longer than your parents wanted you to be? You should know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite, and share them with your parents. If you can't stop shivering even after you get in, if your fur looks all puffed up or is standing on end, and if you seem disoriented or lethargic, you could have hypothermia. If your skin turns bright red, pale, or black, you could have frostbite. If either of these things happen, your parents need to get you to the vet!
7. Remember, antifreeze is poison! If you see something blue on your driveway, do not lick it! In fact, tell your humans to clean up any antifreeze spills right away, just in case you forget that its poison.
8. Do your humans use a space heater in areas of the house that are cold? Remind them that you need to be supervised whenever the space heater is on. They shouldn't leave it running when they are not in the room. You might chew the cord, or knock it over while you are running around playing, or jump on top of it if you are a cat. I know none of you would do any of these things because you are perfect angels. But still. Also, even just rubbing against the space heater could be dangerous, if the heater is too hot. Be careful with those things!
9. If you live near a body of water, be careful. You might notice that the water turns to ice, and you might feel like you can walk across it. But the ice could break, and you could fall into the cold, cold, cold water! This has happened to other dogs and cats before. So please stay away from bodies of water unless your parents are absolutely sure that the ice is thick enough for ice skating. To be sure, please remind your parents again to supervise you when you are outside, and keep you on a leash during walks.
Maybe I made it seem like winter is terribly dangerous for pets! But winter can still be a lot of fun. Just be careful, and make sure you stay warm enough and are supervised, and you'll have an awesome winter!
Thanks for reading Smarty Sunday, everyone! I hope you feel smarter!