Friday, December 2, 2011

Max Memorial

NAFA would like to acknowledge the passing of a special member of the Turner family. Max will be missed greatly by his family.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

World Rabies Day - $3.00 Vaccinations

September 28th was World Rabies Day.  The Arkansas Department of Health has issued some alarming statistics The State Health Department reports an alarming rise in the number of rabies cases so far this year. In fact, they've already surpassed the total amount from last year.
With a lot of people living in rural areas around Arkansas and letting their pets run around outside, the state's latest rabies map is important to see. Each color represents a county and the level of cases hitting there this year. Sebastian County is probably the biggest hit with 26 cases and 64 dogs now quarantined after exposure.  NAFA is trying to help  owners in this area.
No Appointment Necessary.  This SaturdayOctober 1st from 7:30 am to 11:30 am, NAFA will sponsor Dr. Jack Jones for our monthly low cost clinic – 233 N. Gee, red and white building on the corner of Gee Street and Dan Avenue across from Riceland Foods.  While individuals usually must qualify for our services, this Saturday any individual can received rabies vaccinations for their dogs or cats, certificate and tag for only $3.00.  While coupons are required, individuals can show up and ask for a coupon on the spot.  Individuals who want a rabies only can bring their animals and leave them in their vehicles, NAFA technicians and the vet will give rabies shots so the animal never has to leave the security of the vehicle.
Other vaccinations and services are available, however, individuals must qualify and must bring their animals inside the building for those services.
Here are some key points from the Arkansas Department of Health:
• Ark. averages 41 rabid animals per year, but so far in 2011 we have had 50 positives, including 44 rabid skunks and 6 rabid bats.
• Sebastian Co. alone has had 26 rabid skunks in 2011. In a normal year, we average 32 rabid skunks for the entire state. Through Aug. 31, 2011, 42 skunks have been submitted from Sebastian Co., with a rate of 62 percent being positive. The previous 5 years statewide have a 45.7 percent positive rate.
• Rabies is 100 percent preventable. In most cases, preventing rabies is as simple as ensuring adequate animal vaccination and control, avoiding contact with wild animals, and educating those at risk. Of the 64 dogs and 1 cat exposed to rabid animals from the wild this year, only 31 percent have been current on their rabies vaccinations.
• While we have had an epidemic of skunk type rabies this year, we cannot forget that bat exposures lead to almost all of the deaths to rabies in the US (excluding those people who were bitten by an animal in another country but then were in the US when the symptoms began).
• Any bite from a bat, no matter how tiny, is extremely serious. If possible, capture the bat and have it tested for rabies. If we cannot test, the person must receive rabies preventive shots.
NAFA is a non profit 501c3.  Funds for this clinic are provided by local donors.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A NAFA friend and I went to Walmart Sunday afternoon to pick up a prescription that was ready. When she parked the car, she left the motor and the air conditioning running for me. I am a 6 lb “Dorkie” named Ella and I go everywhere with her. So she has to make sure that I am safe.

However, two cars over I noticed a car with a Terrier in it. The window was cracked about a half inch but neither the air conditioning was on nor was the car running. My NAFA friend was inside Walmart only 8 minutes and when she came out to find the dog was still locked inside the hot car, the dog was panting and drooling. I could see the seat was wet where the dog had been panting so hard.

You may have found yourself in my situation before. Many pet parents believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop—but they couldn’t be more wrong. "Automobile temperatures can very quickly rise to dangerous levels; the average temperature increase in a parked car is 40 degrees, and the majority of this increase occurs in the first 15 to 30 minutes," says NAFA’s veterinarian, Dr. Jack Jones. According to statistics from the ASPCA, when it’s 90 degrees outside, a car will be a staggering 125 degrees in 20 to 30 minutes!

Worse still, dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. Luckily, for this dog the NAFA volunteer made all the right moves and the dog survived.

Follow her lead by taking these simple steps.

Step 1: Try to Locate the Pet Parent
The Terrier’s people were nowhere in sight, so she went inside and customer service tried to find the family through the loudspeaker. (You can ask most stores to do this.) No one came to the car.

Step 2: Get Involved
I waited patiently in my truck with cool air, while I watched and worried about the Terrier in the other car. The owners of the car and pet could not be found. We then quickly called the police (normally we would have called animal control but it was Sunday). It had been nearly 20 minutes since I first noticed the dog. A very nice Jonesboro police officer arrived very quickly and used a rod to open the door.

Step 3: Cool the Animal Slowly
When we pulled the Terrier from the steamy vehicle she was lethargic and ill. We moved her into the garden area in the shade and wet a tshirt to lay over her. We applied cool (not cold) water to the pads of her feet and allowed her to slowly lick water from a small dish. Within a few minutes she began to feel better. Meanwhile the police officer ran the plates, got the name of the owner and went back inside the store to have them paged.

Step 4: Get Veterinarian Help

Once the Terrier seemed stable, we discussed with the police taking the dog to a veterinarian. While the NAFA volunteer was on the phone with an emergency vet, the owners arrived. They found the police officer writing them a ticket and a NAFA abuse investigator caring for their dog. The owners agreed to take the dog to their veterinarian and provide the police and NAFA with proof of the visit. Luckily the Terrier named “Spanky” suffered no long term effects

Fourteen states (AZ, CA, IL, ME, MD, MN, NV, NH, NJ, NY, ND, SD, VT, and WV but not Arkansas) have enacted specific laws that protect dogs in hot or extremely cold cars, as have many municipalities—but even in places lacking such a law, leaving an animal in a hot car constitutes cruelty.

Step 5: Educate the Public / Carry Hot Dog Cards
Pets are counting on people like you to save their lives. NAFA and the police rescued Spanky, the Terrier just in time, and she made a full recovery! Remember what you should do and tell your family, friends and neighbors how to handle this situation. NAFA provides free hazard cards to put on the windows of cars where animals are left if it is not a life and death situation for the animal. NAFA also provides free handouts on how to best work with an animal suffering from heat stroke. If you would like any of this information email or see us any Saturday at Petco from 1 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. for the handout or cards to carry in your vehicle.

Step 6: Share Your Story
If you have had an incident where you have seen or helped rescue an animal from a hot or cold car, please post your story to our facebook page ( or email NAFA is hoping to get the city of Jonesboro to pass a specific ordinance providing rescue provisions and penalties for animals in vehicles (similar to a California law) …

California Law:
It shall be unlawful to leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal. Penalty - First conviction: fine not exceeding $100 per animal. If the animal suffers great bodily injury, a fine not exceeding $500, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by both. Any subsequent violation of this section, regardless of injury to the animal, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both. Rescue Provisions - A law enforcement officer, humane agent or animal control officer may take all steps that are reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if the animal's safety, health or well-being appears to be in immediate danger. Must leave written notice bearing the officer's or agent's name and office and the address of the location where the animal may be claimed.

Please keep your pets safe from the extreme summer heat. Make sure they have shade and fresh cool water when outside. Thanks for reading my story!

Till Next Time,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Lyme disease is now the most common tick-borne human infection in the USA, with more than 30,000 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year. While on the rise, instances of lyme disease in Arkansas are not common. However, for dogs and cats, ticks (and fleas) can be life threatening even without lyme disease. Excessive ticks can produce paralysis, anemia and even death for some pets. During the last 3 weeks, NAFA has rescued nearly 20 dogs and cats that have serious health issues as a result of flea and tick infestations. It is important for the health of you and your pet that you keep fleas and ticks to a minimum.
This Saturday from 7:30 am to 11:30 am NAFA will sponsor Dr. Jack Jones in a low cost vaccination clinic for qualified individuals. The low cost vaccination clinic will be at 233 N. Gee at NAFA’s Animal Services Building. Vaccinations, heartworm test and heartworm preventative will be available at significantly reduced prices for low income, disabled, elderly and unemployed individuals. For a complete list of vaccinations and qualifications for individuals please visit 
Flea and tick preventative will also be available. In addition, NAFA will provide free information at both our low cost vaccination clinic and our pet adoption event 1 to 4 pm at Petco, on low cost, effective means to help reduce and eliminate fleas and ticks. (Please note this is not a fund raising event – it is a community service event).

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Since the storms began last week and the waters continued to rise, NAFA A.I.D. (Animals in Disaster) teams have been assisting with animals in distress.

· One team answered a call for an elderly couple who refused to leave their home in danger from rising water, until shelter was found for their dog and cat.

· One team answered an urgent call for a momma dog and 3 puppies found near a ditch. NAFA believes the dog had moved the puppies into the culvert of the ditch and as the water began to rise she moved them. They were rain soaked, cold and terrified. But they are now safely in foster care. Neighbors alerted us to the owners who surrendered the dog and puppies. Storm damage to their fence resulted in them not being able to provide proper care.

· One team answered a call from neighbors who watched as waters rose around a home across the road. A male boxer and female lab pup stayed on the porch until the water poured on to the porch. The dogs dove in and swam to the neighbors camper. NAFA arranged to pick up both the dogs yesterday evening. Unfortunately, the male boxer was stolen from their yard. NAFA now has possession of the lab puppy. The neighbors indicated that they saw the family pack up and leave several days before the waters began rising. No one returned for the dogs. NAFA investigators are actively searching for the individual who stole the boxer and the original owners who left the dogs behind. These animals were in the Powhattan community.

· NAFA has been in contact with the Red Cross in Randolph County and offered assistance to any individuals arriving at the Red Cross Shelter with pets.

· Additionally, NAFA will make available food, cat litter, bedding, treats, carriers or dog houses to individuals who have lost possessions in the storm. Individuals wishing to apply for assistance should email

We hope that all of your family members (people and pets) are safe!!

Until Next Time,
Tut & Issi, AID Volunteer

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pet Loss Group

New group for people mourning the loss of pets. It is free to the public and will meet every Wednesday at noon beginning April 20th. It meets at Life Journey's Counseling Center located at 512 Washington Street in Jonesboro, Arkansas. People can call 870-935-5433 for more information or call Keren at 919-7629.

Thanks for letting us know,
Tut & Ella

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


With Easter right around the corner, pet stores are stocking up on bunnies, ducks, and chicks.

Many parents are tempted to buy these adorable critters as children's Easter gifts. This is NOT a good idea. People don't always realize that these cute, cuddly baby animals grow up into large, not so cute and cuddly adults. Little bunnies grow into 10 lb rabbits. Downy chicks and ducklings sprout "ugly" feathers.

Rabbits, chicks, and ducks are not "low-maintenance" pets. They require constant temperatures, special housing, excellent nutrition, and daily care. The responsibility of caring for them is far too great for a child or busy adult.

Cute little ducks and chicks can pose health risks. Ducks and chickens can be carriers of salmonellosis - an intestinal disease that can be transferred to humans. Salmonellosis is especially dangerous in children and people with weakened immune systems (such the elderly).

Baby animals are very fragile.

They can be accidentally killed or permanently injured if handled too roughly. This is a very common cause of death in Easter pets.

These animals require a long commitment. The average life span of a rabbit is 5-10 years, and 12+ is not uncommon. The average backyard chicken lives between 7-8 years. Ducks can live up to 15 years.

Most chicks, ducks, and bunnies given as Easter gifts die within a few weeks of the holiday.


- Rabbits require as much work as a dog or cat and can live 10-15 years.

- They do NOT make good pets for children (they can inflict painful bites and scratches). Due to fragile bones and backs, they must also be picked up and supported in a specific way that is difficult for children.

- Rabbits must be provided with large quantities of timothy hay and vegetables (mostly dark leafy greens), and limited quantities of commercial rabbit pellets.

- They also eat their own feces (called 'cecal pellets') in order to extract all of the necessary nutrients from their high-fiber, hard-to-digest diet.

- Rabbits should be kept indoors if possible. Outdoor housing is not recommended because outdoor conditions can be very dangerous to a rabbit's health due to outdoor predators, weather extremes, boredom, loneliness, and depression.

- Cages with solid flooring are always preferred to those with wire mesh floors, due to the fact that the wire is hard on rabbits' feet and nails. If a wire mesh bottomed cage is used, it is necessary to provide a solid place for the rabbit to rest on (such as a grass mat).

- Cages should have enough room to allow the rabbit to lay down across the width of the cage, to sit up on its hind legs without its ears touching the top of the cage, and to lay on the floor outside of its hiding place. Most pet stores stock only cages of an appropriate size for very small rabbits. Larger breeds require multi-floor cages, such as those designed for ferrets or chinchillas.

- Cages should have: a place to hide, a food dish, a litter box, a water bottle, toys, and a hay box.

- Rabbits need at least 4 hrs a day outside of their cages for exercise.

- Rabbits must be spayed or neutered or they will mark your house with feces and urine.

- According to the House Rabbit Society, rabbits "are suffering the same fate as our other companion animals -- abandonment. It's a sad fact that no matter where you live, you are within 10 miles of a rabbit who needs a home".


- Without the protective oils produced by their mother, a duckling's down soaks up water like a sponge. They will tire quickly and drown if left unattended by water.

- A duckling is a fully grown duck in about 30 days.

- Ducks are not suitable pets for children. They can pinch and peck aggressively if provoked.

- Contrary to popular belief, bread and crackers are not a good staple food for ducks. They need a well balanced, varied diet, from pelleted mash, vegetable trimmings, algae, plants, snails, meal worms, night crawlers, coy food, feeder goldfish, and grass.

- Ducks require a constant supply of fresh, clean water for drinking, swimming, eating, and cleaning themselves.

- Ducks do not have the physical anatomy required (a sphincter muscle) to be potty trained.
They are very messy.

- Domestic ducks will NOT survive in the wild. Unlike their wild duck cousins, domestic ducks cannot fly to safety when predators attack. They cannot migrate to food when existing food sources disappear in the winter. Without human intervention, they often starve to death or are euthanized by animal control workers.

- Even in the city, predators are a major threat. Dogs, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, cats, rats, and snakes are all possible predators.

- Pet ducks should never be caged once they are full grown. If you can't allow your duck to roam your entire yard, give them an area of their own that is clean, safe from predators, and accessible for daily maintenance and feeding. They also require some sort of shelter (a dog kennel, etc.) from the elements. Wire bottom cages are NOT suitable as they can cause severe foot injuries.


- The largest, most experienced chicken hatcheries only guarantee about 90% sexing accuracy - that means you might end up with a constantly crowing, nasty tempered rooster!

- Roosters, and even some hens, can become very aggressive.

- Keeping chickens is illegal in some cities.

- Chickens can make a great deal of noise, especially after laying eggs.

- Chickens need to be outdoors at least part of the day. They love to scratch in dirt, take dust baths, eat tender new shoots (remember that some house plants can be poisonous), and lay sprawled out in the sun.

- Chicken houses need perches at varying levels and a laying box.

- Even in the city, predators are a major threat. Dogs, coyotes, raccoons, and opossums can be devastating. Young chicks can be killed by cats, rats, and snakes.


Spread the word that live animals do not make good gifts for Easter. Instead of live animals, give children (and adults) critter shaped chocolate and marshmallow treats. Stuffed animals are also great gifts for animal lovers.

Have a safe and Happy Easter,

Tut & Ella

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


We held our Volunteer Orientation and Information session on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011. We discussed programs that people might be interested in becoming involved in as well as new programs that will be added this year. It was about an hour long meeting with a few of NAFA's current volunteers and people who are interested in helping the community with animal related help.

Hope to see you at our next session, which has not been scheduled yet, that will hone in on special programs.
Till Next Time,

Monday, March 14, 2011


Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 @ Petco in Jonesboro, AR

NAFA is always looking for dedicated animal lovers and advocates, whether they can give 15 minutes, 2 hour, a day or more. By becoming a NAFA dedicated volunteer, you'll build strong relationships with the community, animals and other like-minded volunteers. With your help we'll build a Model Animal Community-a city where unwanted pets and abused, abandoned or homeless animals can find refuge, rehabilitation and rehoming.

The first step in becoming a NAFA volunteer is to attend a volunteer orientation. During the orientation, you will learn about NAFA and the many areas we have available for volunteers. NAFA has more than a dozen programs to help pets stay in the home they have, to find new homes, to be rescued from abuse/neglect, to be educated about health issues, to receive inexpensive veterinarian services for qualifying individuals and to be rescued during disasters.

There is never a commitment to volunteer a specific number of hours. Some additional training is necessary for some of our programs and activities. Our next volunteer orientation which will last about 60 minutes will be at Petco beginning at 7:30 pm. Althought NAFA encourages individuals to bring their pets to our activities, this orientation is for people only.

Hope to see you there,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


According to the Arkansas Department of Health, a skunk taken from high school property in Greenwood tested positive for rabies. While Greenwood is in the western part of Arkansas it is a reminder that residents must be diligent in getting their pets vaccinated. If a human contracts rabies there is no cure. NAFA highly encourage all pet owners to ensure their pet’s vaccinations are up to date, especially rabies. Both dogs and cats should have rabies tags and owners should keep certificates easily accessible.

NAFA is sponsoring Dr. Jack Jones for another low cost vaccination clinic this Saturday, March 12th from 7:30 to 11:30 am at our Animal Services Building – 233 N. Gee (red and white building on the corner of Gee Street and Dan Avenue across from Riceland Foods). For costs, vaccinations available and qualifications individuals can visit NAFA’s website or email

Protect your pets,
Tut & Ella

Monday, March 7, 2011


If you have recently gotten a guinea pig or are thinking about getting one this handout will help to explain the basic requirements of care.

Guinea Pig Handout

**UPDATE** Martin - Miracle Boxer

"Martin" is improving each day and the vet says that if he continues to improve as much each day as he has done so far he will be out of the woods by next week. Please know that your donations will help greatly with his care. He is a wonderful boy and has a loving heart and a super strong will to survive.

If you would like to help with "Martin's" care please donate through NAFA's Causes page or by stopping in at Petco on Saturday from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. You can also mail a donation to us at:
P.O. Box 10075
Jonesboro, AR 72403

We will continue to keep everyone updated as he progresses.

Thank you for your support,
Tut & Ella

Monday, February 28, 2011

Volunteer Orientation

Due to circumstances beyond our control, NAFA's volunteer orientation and information session scheduled for Tuesday, Mach 1st has been changed until Tuesday, March 15 – 7:30 pm at Petco.


Friday, February 25, 2011


Our February Cat Neuter is full but we are scheduling appointments for March. If your male cat did not make this clinic you can email our director ( ) to schedule your cat for March. The clinic in March is scheduled for March 26th. All male cats must be at least 4 months of age.

Thank you for helping to reduce the pet overpopulation in Northeast Arkansas.


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Thank you to all of the people that came out Saturday to give blood! We are very pleased to announce that the goal set before us was meet and surpassed. The Red Cross Blood Drive Bus was rarely slow and at the end of the day all workers felt satisfied with a day well spent.

The animal lovers and supporters of NAFA always come through. We couldn't have done it with out all of you. Once again thanks for your support of the community.
With Greatest Gratitude,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two Great Valentine Weekends for Pets

Sat., Feb 5th 1 to 4 pm
Valentine Pet Photos
Jewelry Benefit Sale
Free Pet ID Tag Program

Sat., Feb 12th 1 to 4 pm
Pet Kissing Contest
Jewelry Benefit Sale
Free Pet ID Tag Program

Valentine Pet/Family Photos—Ready for pickup after 8:00 am on Friday,
Feb. 11th—perfect for Valentine’s gifts. Inexpensive packages—4x6—$6.00 / 5x7— $8.00 / 4x6 & 5x7—$10 / 4x6 & 4 wallets—$10.

Jewelry Benefit Sale—Mirano Glass Jewelry—Authentic hand crafted jewelry
from Italy. Necklaces, bracelets and special gifts. Pieces starting as low as $15.00. One of a kind creations to give to your someone special and to help cover medical costs on animals recently rescued from breeder.

Free Pet IDs—Bring your pet and get a free Pet ID kit … includes … reward tag … photo … database system … $100 reward coverage and tips on how to get your pet back should it ever get lost.

Pet Kissing Contest—Bring your pet to our kissing booth. If you pet is
judged the best kisser (kissing either you or us), your pet could receive a $25.00 Petco Gift Card. Other prices will be awarded.

For more information email—visit our Facebook page or call 932‐1955 leave a message and a volunteer will call you back.

Hope you join us,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Why own a Wolf hybrid. With Jack London’s description in the “Call of the Wild” came the romance of owning a wolf or a wolf-hybrid. For some people there is a macho attitude of taming something from the wild. Whatever the reason, most people who want to purchase a wolf-hybrid have not done much research and rely only on word of mouth for information. This article is not meant to make a judgment either way on wolf-hybrids. Instead it is intended to inform those about wolf-hybrid ownership.

Wolf-hybrids never make a good house pet for the average person. Owing a wolf-hybrid requires research and in depth understanding of wolf behavior, special containment, nutrition and the ability to survive the mass destruction that generally accompanies these animals. Prey drive is greatly multiplied in the wolf hybrid, which can result in disaster for neighborhood animals, small children or anything running and screaming.

Here are some facts about wolf-hybrids to consider:

 Wolf-hybrids are naturally shy and timid, especially towards humans. This can lead quickly to fear aggressive behaviors and serious control problems. Wolf-hybrids do not make good guard dogs.

 Wolf-hybrids are curious and have a natural tendency to dig, shred and destroy items to fulfill these tendencies.

 Wolf-hybrids suffer from the same diseases and ailments as domesticated dogs. They can have hip dysplasia, cataracts, cryptorchidism, skill allergies. They can contract parvo, distemper and other dog diseases. A very important fact to remember is that most researchers question the effectiveness of rabies vaccines on wolf-hybrids.

 The only way to be sure an animal is a wolf-hybrid is through genetic testing. No one can tell by looking at an animal.

 Most wolf-hybrids are not covered under malpractice insurance and so many veterinarians will not treat them.

 Many city ordinances forbid the ownership of wolf-hybrids within city limits.

 Most home insurance carriers will not insure home owners who own a wolf-hybrid. Between 1986 and 1994 ten people were killed by privately owned wolf-hybrids.

 Because of liability issues, most animal control agencies and humane shelters cannot place wolf-hybrids. This results in many hybrids being destroyed each year.

 A standard 6’ fence is not sufficient to contain a wolf-hybrid. Special provisions must be made for fencing and containment. A wolf-hybrid should never be tied or chained.

 A new Arkansas law regulates the private possession of wolves and wolf-hybrids by requiring possessors to maintain health records, provide adequate care and confinement and have the animal vaccinated.

 Statistics show that wolf-hybrids can live to be 12 to 14 years old, but the majority are dead before the age of three.

 Wolf-hybrids can be socialized and even tamed to a certain degree, but they can never be domesticated.

Northeast Arkansans for Animals will never place and wolf-hybrid in an individual home. Any that are surrendered to us are placed in sanctuaries. The above information is provided in a hope that people will stop, think and take time to make an educated decision about obtaining a wolf-hybrid or any wild animal.

Please consider these facts and issues if you are considering owning a wolf hybrid.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Neuter Clinic for Cats Only - February 26th

If you have a male cat that you need neutered that is 4 months of age NAFA is having a $10.00 neuter clinic February 26th. The $10.00 also includes the rabies vaccination, but a tag is not included. If you would like a tag you can pay an additional $2.50 and recieve a tag. Please contact to schedule your appointment.



Here are some tips to help make sure that your dog or cat stays healthy and
comfortable during the winter months.

1. Keep pets away from antifreeze solution, and promptly clean up any antifreeze spills. Antifreeze is attractive to pets but is deadly, even in very small amounts.

2. Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended when the temperature gets below 40 degrees. Pets that are mostly indoors need time to adapt to cold temperatures. They
must build up a thicker coat and get their footpads toughened for snow and ice. Pets that get too chilled can develop hypothermia or even frostbite. Ear tips are especially susceptible to frostbite.

3. Short-coated dogs (Greyhounds, Dobermans, Boxers and Boston Terriers)should not go outside without a coat or sweater in very cold weather, except to relieve themselves. Small dogs with short coats (Chihuahuas, miniature Pinschers, and miniature Dachshunds) are especially vulnerable to cold, and may not be able to tolerate any outdoor exercise in extremely cold weather.

4. Dogs with long fur on the bottom of their paws often develop ice balls between the pads and toes of the feet. To prevent ice balls from forming, trim the hair around your dog's feet. Apply a small amount of Vaseline, cooking oil, or PAM spray to your dog's feet before taking him for a walk in snow. The oil helps prevent ice balls from sticking. Make sure you use edible oil; most dogs will lick their paws after you apply the oil.

5. If your pet walks on salted sidewalks or streets, be sure to wash his paws after your walk. Salt is very irritating to footpads. Gently rub the bottom of the feet to remove the salt as soon as your dog is off the road.

6. Many animals are less active during the winter, and don't as many calories as in the warmer months. Reduce your pet's diet during the winter, to avoid excessive weight gain. You may wish to consult with your veterinarian about the right winter food portions for your pet.

7. Most cats prefer to spend their winter days indoors; be cautious if your cat likes being outside. Don't let it out in bitterly cold weather, and be sure it has a warm place to go if it does spend a lot of time outdoors. Cats that are left outdoors may crawl into a warm car engine to get warm, which can kill them. It's much safer to keep your cat indoors during the winter.

8. If your dog is an outdoor dog, however, he/she must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

9. Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

10.Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

11.Keep pets safe from fire. If using a fireplace or wood stove, put a protective
barrier or fire screen to prevent burns. Never use a space heater if you own pets. Pets can chew on the cord and be electrocuted. Pets can knock over or land on the space heater resulting in burns or worse, set fire to the home.

12.Keep ID tags on pets. More pets are lost in the winter than any other time of the year. Pets lose their ability to scent their way home in snow and ice conditions.

13.Don't leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car will act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold, and the animal could freeze to death.

14.Make Drinking Water Available … as the temperature drops the water places for all the outdoor animals, squirrels and birds are frozen in the morning. This is the time of the year when you want to be diligent about replacing that water for the animals. Dehydration at this time of the year can lead to bladder stones and urinary track
blockages especially in cats.

15.Be sure that your pet is current on vaccinations and medical care. A healthy pet will tolerate winter stress much better than an unhealthy one. Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.

For more information contact NAFA – 870-932-1955 or

Keep Warm,