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CYA: Cover Your Animals

By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Feb 9, 2007 7:58AM

With all the talk of taking care of our pets lately, we thought we'd send you into the weekend with some quick tips to make sure your pets are happy and safe this winter. We really love our pets here at Chicagoist, so we gave you the rundown a couple of years ago, but we think this stuff is really worth repeating. We freaking hate the cold and wear three scarves and sometimes two hats these days. And while we sort of can't stand people who dress up their animals like people, it's time for some dog sweaters and shit!

One thing we heard the other day that surprised us was that dogs can only stay out in the super deep-freeze for about as long as we can before they get frostbite. ACK! Just the word makes us tremble. Wiping off your dog's paws when you come in from a walk helps to get off snow, ice, and potential harmful chemicals that they might try to lick off themselves. Keeping the hair on their paws trimmed also helps keep painful ice and snow clumps from collecting there. One more word about the very important paws: it's good to keep them moisturized with some sort of lotion or balm. Some even suggest spraying cooking spray on their paws before a walk.

2007_02cuteflan.jpgIf it snows a lot, dig out a spot for your dog to go to the bathroom. Also, cats and other animals will tend to hide under cars or engines for warmth. You may want to knock on your car's hood just to make sure no furries are inside. Don't leave your animal in a car -- it can act like a refrigerator and make them colder rather than warmer (unless you do that cool tealight candle thing). In fact, keep your dogs and cats inside -- don't let them cruise around outside; the snow and cold can damage their keen sense of scent (say that three times fast), and they can easily get lost. More dogs are reported lost in winter than in any other season. Blah.

And if you see a dog or cat left outside, call the proper authorities. One of the reasons animal cruelty gets us so fired up is that animals can't really speak up for themselves. And they don't have opposable thumbs, so they can't make a fist and give a fucking roundhouse to horrible people who abuse animals. There are more tips and thoughts about keeping pets safe and healthy at

"One Paw" by smussyolay