7 Simple Steps That Will Help You Save Stray Animals’ Lives This Winter

5. Food

When the temperature drops, so do the chances of wet food staying soft and palatable. Stray cats need to eat, too, so if you are putting food outside for them, make sure it isn’t freezing solid.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

There’s nothing a cold kitty or canine dislikes more than being taunted with tough treats. Calories are even more essential to animals in the winter, as their bodies will be working even harder to maintain core temperatures.

Place outdoor feeding stations in a place where they will be protected from the elements and accessible to the animals in your neighborhood. And if you notice the food has been eaten, make sure to keep it refilled on a regular basis. Animals operate on instinct and keep strict schedules. Disappoint them once, and they lose interest in coming back again.

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

6. Easy on the salt

Salt and chemical de-icing products can pose a deadly threat to animals walking around in the snow. Alley Cat Allies recommends avoiding these products near feral cat colonies.

“These products can be toxic and injure cats’ paws,” the organization maintains. “While there are products marketed as ‘pet safe,’ we still recommend using caution.”

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

7. Water

Even with snow everywhere, water is a crucial resource. Staying hydrated is even more important for animals in the winter, as the extreme cold forces animals to expend more energy.

Keeping water outside during the winter is a good recipe for ice, which is of no use to a thirsty animal. The HSUS maintains that you can avoid a deep freeze by using a thick plastic water container that offers more insulation than a thin bowl.

While it’s fine to place food inside an exterior shelter, and even recommended, water should stay outside.

“Water is easily spilled, and a wet shelter will feel more like a refrigerator than a warm haven,” the HSUS reports.

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Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

With a little preparation, you could be helping save lives as soon as the first snow falls. Better yet, get your neighbors involved in a community feeding and water schedule, and you’ll really make a difference.

Stray animals deserve a chance at survival just like their warm and cozy cousins, and vigilant individuals with their local shelter phone numbers at the ready help rescue these animals every day. Sadly, shelter animals throughout the U.S. are also in need of help this season. Click the link below to show your own pet how much you care and help other shelter animals everywhere!

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.

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