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NEW YORK — The tri-state area is bracing for what could be the biggest snowstorm the region has experienced in several years.

As you prepare for the impending nor’easter, don’t forget to consider your furry friends!

Here are some winter weather tips for pet owners.

  1. Even if your pet normally lives outside, keep them inside as much as possible during the storm, especially at night when temperatures drop.
  2. If your pet does need to go outside, the Bergen County SPCA recommends you supervise your furry friend and limit time outdoors as much as possible.
  3. Dogs with short coats should wear a jacket. Breeds that do not have an undercoat (dogs with undercoats are breeds like shepherds, huskies, malamutes, retrievers) can get cold quickly.
  4. Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws and skin, and pose a risk if ingested.
  5. Consider applying a barrier, like petroleum jelly, to your pet’s paws to protect them while out on a walk.
  6. Remember to wipe your dog’s (or cat’s) paws and belly with a damp towel after coming inside from a walk or a romp around the yard.
  7. Make sure your pet is wearing the popper ID tags.
  8. Pets exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time can experience hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include low body temperature, low heart rate, low respiration (breathing), violent shivering, and their gums may turn pale or blue. If you believe your pet is experiencing hypothermia, warm them slowly to avoid shock, and get them to a full-service vet immediately.
  9. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous and also tempting to pets due to its sweet taste. Make sure it is kept up high in a leak-proof container. Clean up any antifreeze that might drip from equipment that uses it. If you believe your pet ingested antifreeze, get them to a veterinarian immediately.
  10. Less time outside may mean a bored pet. Increase your animal’s indoor enrichment with frozen kongs, food puzzles, and training games.

    Reminder: Neglected animals should be reported to your local police department immediately.