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Bring Your Pets in From the Cold and Be sure Your Home is Pet-ProofWe all know to dress warmly before venturing out on a winter day and to keep windows and doors closed to be sure it's warm inside; but one topic worthy of a reminder because it is not often top of mind as we go through each day is the care our pets need.  Our pets depend on us to keep them safe in the cold weather. 

Bring your pets in from the cold

  • Some pets are more tolerant of extremely cold temperatures than others, but that does not mean that they are not just as vulnerable to the harmful effects.  It’s up to you as the pet owner to protect them.  Many pets — especially dogs — aren’t aware of just how cold the weather can be. You’ll have to be sensitive to their limits, and you may have to wrap your pet in a coat or boots to go outside. The ASPCA offers the following advice to help keep your pets safe as temperatures plummet.
  • Just as leaving your pet in your car when it’s hot can be deadly, so can leaving them in your car when it’s cold.  The car traps the cold air and acts like a refrigerator, causing the animal to freeze.
  • Keep your pets safely indoors during extremely cold weather that can cause them to be disoriented or actually freeze.  How to know when it’s too cold for your pet to be outside:  If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet.
  • Protect your pet from drafts and give them a warm place to sleep that is off the floor such as a dog or cat bed.  Adding a warm blanket or pillow will help as well. 
  • Because your pets burn extra energy to stay warm when it’s cold, they’ll require extra food for the calories they’ll need. Likewise, extra water for extra hydration will help prevent dry skin.

Homeowners Insurance Tip

If your pet will be left inside your home alone when it's too cold to be outside, then be sure to "pet-proof" your home ahead of time.  In particular, be sure that your pet will not be able to turn on the tap in the sink which can lead to flooding or damage an electrical cord which might put your home at risk for fire while you're away.  You’ll want to be sure that your homeowners insurance policy offers you the best coverage for your circumstances.  Spend some time inspecting your home to be sure that it is pet ready, well before you have the need to ever file a homeowners insurance claim.  Speak with your insurance agent for advice and to discuss your coverage options.

Feel free to contact any of our very capable and experienced agents at Ewing, Hines & Associates in Kensington, MD to discuss any  home insurance-related questions.  We can help you review your current insurance policy and explore your options to be sure you have the best coverage and protection according to meet your own needs.

 

Tuesday, 03 December 2019 12:41

Before long temperatures will likely fall into the single digits and snow could bring our daily routine to a standstill here in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia. It’s not only unwise but unsafe to be unprepared for weather problems this winter. Be a smart driver -- brush up on these common sense rules for safe winter driving.

  1. Even if you didn't prepare for winter before this  wet, cold or icy weather by performing a complete vehicle check-up, do it now. Your auto tech will tell you that winter conditions present the greatest challenge to your vehicle’s operating efficiency.
  2. Move your vehicle into the open to let it warm up so that you avoid exhaust build-up in your garage.
  3. Check your tires frequently for proper inflation. If your vehicle owner’s manual does not specify, then ask your automotive technician about the proper inflation level.
  4. Make it a practice to keep your fuel tank at least half-full – both to prevent gas-line freeze and to ensure that you won’t likely run out of fuel in an emergency.
  5. If possible, don’t drive in bad weather; and if you must drive, try to be well rested and wait until snow plows and sand trucks have cleared the roads.
  6. When driving on wet, snowy or icy roads, avoid using cruise control or overdrive.  Both detract from your full control of the vehicle in possible slippery conditions.
  7. Use your seat belt and make sure that your seat and mirrors are properly adjusted for best visibility.  Wear sunglasses to reduce glare.
  8. Don’t use your parking brake in cold or inclement weather, if at all possible.
  9. If you experience skidding on slippery roads, always take your foot off the gas pedal and steer in the direction you want to go to recover from the skid.

One more essential:  Keep a Winter Driving Kit in your vehicle and stock it with: a bag of sand, salt or kitty litter, ice scraper, paper towels, shovel, snow brush, warning flares, window-washing fluid, a flash light, booster cables, a blanket, gloves and a cellular phone. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re prepared for an emergency.

The key to safe winter driving is to plan ahead, know your vehicle and adapt to the weather and road conditions.

 

Monday, 12 November 2018 10:00