TurfMutt Shares Winter Storm Safety Tips for Pets
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Lucky the TurfMutt is a former street dog who spent cold days and nights without a home before he was rescued by Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). Now, Lucky has a warm bed to sleep in and a new mission – to teach kids and their families about the importance of our living landscapes.
This superdog knows that part of taking care of the family yard in the winter months includes cleaning up from snow and ice storms. “Even though we have fur coats, pets feel the cold just like humans do, and I know just how uncomfortable that can be first-paw from living on the streets before Kris rescued me,” says Lucky the TurfMutt. “I want to encourage families to ‘bone up’ on these tips for keeping everyone in your family – including your pets – safe and warm this winter.”
Reduce outdoor activities when temperatures dip low. Your pets will always be most comfortable inside with you, but it’s imperative you keep them indoors during severe weather.
Using a snowthrower can make quick work of snow removal and can create a path to your pet’s bathroom area. But always keep kids and pets away from the equipment.
Don’t cut your dog’s fur in the wintertime. Pets naturally develop winter coats to protect them from the harsh, cold elements.
After bathroom breaks and walks, check your pet’s ears, paws and tail for any sign of frostbite.
Keep a dry, clean towel handy to wipe down your pet’s legs, belly and paws after each outdoor excursion. Ice-melt chemicals can irritate their skin and cause serious illness if ingested.
Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet to pets, but it’s toxic to dogs and cats. Quickly clean up any spills, and consider using a brand made from non-toxic propylene glycol instead.
Ensure your pet has plenty of fresh, clean water to drink. Winter air is dry!
Offer a warm, dry place for your pet to rest inside. A pet bed works perfectly.
“Like most dogs, Lucky loves to romp in the snow, but one of our rules is that if it’s too cold for us to be outside, it’s too cold for him, too,” says Kiser. “As guardians of our pets, it’s important that we keep their safety in mind during all kinds of weather.”
TurfMutt was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) Research and Education Foundation and has reached more than 68 million children, educators and families since 2009. Through classroom materials developed with Scholastic, TurfMutt teaches students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” TurfMutt is an official USGBC® Education Partner and education resource at the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2017, the TurfMutt animated video series won the coveted Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series. TurfMutt’s personal, home habitat also is featured in the 2017 and the upcoming 2018 Wildlife Habitat Council calendars. More information at www.TurfMutt.com.