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Winter Pet Protection Tips and Recommendations

 

We have had a lot of cold and snow in Chicago this winter. After all of this shoveling and heavy coats, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. is ready for spring. And although many of us know that we need to watch for summer dangers to our pets, we forget that our animals also feel the cold.

Even if we all want winter to end really soon, the groundhog may not be right – we still have at least another month of winter weather. And snow can sometimes fall in April! With the snow and the cold, some people think that their pets get to enjoy that weather due to their big, heavy fur coats. However, if you are cold, your pet is also cold!

Winter Weather Tips for Your Pets

Pets are just as likely to get frostbite and hypothermia as you. But it’s easy to protect them from the cold. Below are several tips to keep your best friend safe this winter.

Limit time outdoors

Even the biggest and furriest dog should not spend huge amounts of time outside in the winter. A thick coat does not protect all of their body parts, especially their paws, their nose, and their ears. First, never leave your pets outside alone, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs loves their walks and exercise, but otherwise, they should stay inside. Even if you think your pet may tolerate cold weather better, if you do not want to be outside, don’t leave them out there.

Additionally, arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Just as we worry about our elderly neighbors as they grab the shovel and go outside, please stay alert of your pets who may need extra care and patience on the ice.

Bundle Up and Wipe Down

Next, some dogs have short coats, especially short-haired and smaller dogs. If you have such a pet, consider putting on a dry sweater or coat when you take them for their walk. Additionally, older dogs and puppies may have stronger reactions to the cold.

Additionally, many sidewalks may have salts or other chemicals on them. Your pet’s paws and bellies can become coated in these chemicals, which will irritate their skin. Wipe down all of the paws with a damp towel before you pet licks them. You definitely do not want the salt in their mouths! At this time, also check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. Chemicals can get caught between their foot pads to cause severe pain as they burn the dog’s skin.

Lastly, if you use a de-icing treatment, consider using a pet-safe deicer that you can purchase at many pet stores.

Listen to Your Pet

Although they may not have a voice, your pet can tell you how they feel in different ways. For example, if you notice that your pet begins to whine or shiver, they should come inside. Signs of hypothermia for your pet is the same as they are for you. However, you may have trouble identifying frostbite. Either way, if your animal appears in pain due to any exposure to the cold, be safe and consult your veterinarian immediately. Damage may take a few days to show their true signs and a trained vet will help.

Protect Outdoor Pets

For example, if you have an outdoor cat, remember to provide them protection. They need extra food and water, so give them a hand.

Lastly, livestock have their own needs. If you have a horse, remember to provide them an area to escape from the wind and cold. Provide a lot of water and food during extreme cold as they will use this energy to stay warm. And a horse always loves to have a dry blanket placed on them.

Conclusion

Although winter may come to an end (hopefully!) soon, the cold air can stay in Arlington Heights for a long time. As you walk your dog around Lake Arlington or in Busse Woods this spring, if you have a coat on, consider protecting your dog. Even with the daffodils coming out of the ground, remember to keep everyone safe.

If you take these steps, your pets will enjoy the play and exercise but will also stay safe. However, you may also encounter pets that do not have owners who understand the dangers of the winter. If you see a pet outside too long, politely let the owner know about the risks and your concerns. Many people just do not understand how the cold affects their animals and need to know this information. Stay warm and enjoy the snow!

Additional Illinois Shoveling Tips

shoveling

As another snowstorm comes to Arlington Heights, remember that shoveling your sidewalk provides you immunity from liability. But at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., we want to provide you with the best safety advice on snowfall. The 1979 Snow and Ice Removal Act shields property owners from liability if someone gets hurt. But in a recent Illinois Supreme Court case, they clarified the requirements.

[Read more…]

One Warm Coat Drive 2018

To say we were blown away by our community’s generosity with our Coat Drive would be an understatement! In under 3 weeks, we partnered with One Warm Coat and collected over 150 coats for Palatine’s community organization, Journeys The Road Home. Journeys will be distributing to the homeless & near homeless throughout the NW suburbs. We are so grateful to all who stopped by our office, our homes , even holiday parties  to make sure they distributed coats for the needy. We are truly humbled and thankful for your support. What a way to start the year!

Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to helping families next holiday season.

 

In conjunction with One Warm Coat, The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer is proud to host a coat drive to collect clean, gently worn, warm coats. We invite area residents to make a difference in our local community by donating to this coat drive to help us reach our goal of collecting 75 coats for the community. All coats will be donated to Journeys, The Road Home in Palatine, a community organization in Palatine that assists the homeless and near homeless within the northwest suburbs.

“We are so excited about our upcoming One Warm Coat Drive and hope the community will support us.  Nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty and struggle to provide a warm coat for their families.  One Warm Coat’s program helps us keep all of the coats we collect in this community, which will make a big difference for our neighbors who need a coat” said Ron Wittmeyer  of The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer

We have had an exciting start with a local school district donating 30 coats to our Coat Drive!

 

One Warm Coat

Each year, hundreds of thousands of gently worn coats are distributed through One Warm Coat’s Coat Drive program. Across North America, Open Warm Coats provide the coats to children, women and men in need.  “We are so grateful for our partners like The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer. It is because of our incredible volunteers that we have been around for more than 25 years, helping get coats to our neighbors who need them. Thanks to RF Wittmeyer’s efforts, many people in this community will have a much warmer winter,” commented Jennifer Stockard, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Warm Coat.

One Warm Coat, a national non-profit organization, works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. Additionally they raise awareness of the vital need for warm coats.  One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country. They also provide the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive.  Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected. They provide coats to any person in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Over the past 26 years, One Warm Coat has worked to give away more than 5 million coats.

Protecting Your Home and Preventing House Fires

house fires

If you survey a group of people and ask what season they believe house fires occur, most say “spring,” “summer,” or even “fall.” However, the American Red Cross notes otherwise.  The American Red Cross reports that while house fires can occur at any time for any reason. However, they increase during the fall and winter. December and January are the peak months. Home fires  tend to peak between 6:00 and 7:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

According to the United States Fire Administration, winter home fires cause the death of 890 people every year. Additionally, they cost $2 billion in property damage each year. In fact, “winter home fires account for only 8% of the total number of fires in the U.S., but result in 30% of all fire deaths.” How can you protect your home and prevent house fires?

By knowing a few of these quick few facts.

[Read more…]

Chicago Holiday Safe Driving Tips

Holiday Safe DrivingWe hear it every winter – this one is going to be bad. From the Farmer’s Almanac to local weatherpeople, Chicago prepares for the worst! However, even with bad weather, people like to travel and need holiday safe driving tips. People cross state lines to see their family and friends. To ensure that everyone has a safe and fun holiday, remember to drive safely and pay attention to weather conditions. [Read more…]

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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