Safeguarding Strays from Cold Weather
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 and filed under Ang Mei Hwa , Holistic Veterinary , . You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 . You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site
Build an Outdoor Shelter and Feeding Station
Shelters are easy and inexpensive to build. You can use the plans available on the web, or modify a pre-built dog house. Some manufacturers also sell pre-built cat shelters for such purposes.
The shelter should be sited in a quiet, unobtrusive area with a minimal amount of traffic. A good-sized shelter offers a space just big enough for a few of the strays to cuddle. Install a flap on the door to keep out snow and wind. Insulate the shelter against moisture as well as cold! Straw resists the wet and keeps a shelter warm, and is the best choice for insulation and bedding. Blankets are not a good idea, as they absorb moisture like a sponge. In addition to a shelter, you can build a simple feeding station with a roof and sides to protect the animals from the elements while they eat.
Keep Food and Drinking Water from Freezing
Wet food in insulated containers is most ideal for winter time feeding as it takes less energy for the animals to digest compared to dry food – and these strays can use all that extra energy to keep warm.
Preventing liquids from freezing can be a challenge during the winter and can lead to a risk for dehydration. Keep water drinkable by using bowls that are deep rather than wide, and place them in a sunny spot. If possible, refill the bowls with hot or warm water. A pinch of sugar in the water also keeps it from freezing as quickly, and provides an added boost of energy. An alternative are the heated electric bowls found in many pet shops.
Try to keep to a regular feeding schedule every day. The animals will come to expect you, and the food and water will spend less time in the cold before it is consumed. Feed them in the morning and during the day, if you are home. Feeding at night will encourage other wildlife (the feral ones are a type of wildlife) to visit your yard and eat the food instead of the dogs/cats. If you feed other nocturnal wildlife, feed them in a different area of your yard at night.
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