The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) urges area residents to protect pets by doing the following:
An outdoor dog must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the animal to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in its body heat - with a floor raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings. The house should include a warm bed, face away from the wind and have a doorway covered with a flap.
Don’t forget these other winter hazards: The warm engine compartment of a parked car makes a cozy sleeping spot for cats. Before starting your engine, bang on your car to roust any sleeping animals. And remember, the ethylene glycol in antifreeze is a killer. Pets are attracted to the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a small amount can kill them. Clean up spills immediately, tightly close containers and store antifreeze where pets cannot reach it.
Keep cats, dogs, rabbits and other small animals inside, especially at night. Short-haired, very young, or old pets should never be left outside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only long enough to relieve himself.
Never leave a dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. Your car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your animal companion could freeze to death.