Cold weather reminders: Pets, pipes and cars

7:11 PM, Jan 19, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Thursday's temps were the first blast of really cold air. Rather than complain, let them be a reminder to take care of some winter weather tasks.


Every winter animal experts release helpful information for pet owners dealing with cold weather.

"If you don't want to be outside for a longtime neither do your pets," says Deb Balzer from the Animal Humane Society. "It's okay to limit exercise time for pets, too."

Balzer recommends:

  • When going for walks, use Vaseline or dog shoes to protect paws.
  • Wipe off paws following time outside. Salt and other chemicals can irritate paws.
  • Be cautious when using antifreeze in the garage. Pets find antifreeze sweet to lick, but it can be fatal.
  • If smaller dogs are left indoors all day, limit their food. If they're not outdoors, they're not burning calories.


It's the season for frozen and busted pipes.

"We definitely get busy right now," says Ed Pieczykolan from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. "Make sure to keep your thermostat steady as it helps to keep the pipes warm."

In other words, a cold house means cold pipes.

Pieczykolan recommends:

  • Open the doors on the kitchen cabinets to increase warmer air to the pipes
  • Be aware of pipes that run along an outside wall and those without insulation
  • Turn faucets to a light trickle to avoid freezing


The bitterly cold means big business for auto repair shops.

"When things get really frozen stiff it can cause your car to break down easier," says Rick Murphy from Grandview Tire and Auto in Edina. "You'll see more problems when temperatures reach these extremes."

Murphy recommends:

  • Warm your car up for 2-3 minutes prior to driving
  • If your battery is roughly five years old have it checked by a professional
  • Check the pressure in the tires at least once each month during the winter

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