I often see many pets not taken care of during the winter; could you please discuss proper care of animals during the winter time.

Winter can be a dangerous tie of year for your pets. A few simple precautions will help to see them through these cold months. Here are some suggestions:Cats can get frostbite easily. Keep them inside during the dead of winter. Those that are prowling often gravitate to the warmth of auto engines and sleep under the hoods of parked cars. Before starting your motor, bang loudly on the hood to alert the sleeping feline.

Dogs, especially small and short-haired breeds, i.e., Doberman, dalmation, rotweiller, German shorthair, beagle and Bassett hound, are also vulnerable to cold weather. Check with your veterinarian to determine if you have a short-haired breed. This type of dog should always be indoors during the winter. A sweater can be used to protect under the belly and to keep the dog warm.

Thoroughly wipe your dog's belly and paws after a walk in the rain or snow. Check the foot pads for encrusted snow and ice, which can cause bleeding. Dogs and cats may also pick up salt or other chemicals on their feet. These can be irritating and may make the animal sick if swallowed.

Be sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, away from drafts. If you have an animal that will be kept outside, provide adequate shelter. It must be dry and draft-free. It should be 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, hay or carpet. The house should also face away from he wind and have a doorway covered with burlap or a rug. Doghouse plans are available from Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 W. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84123, or call 264-2247.

Antifreeze is deadly to cats and dogs. The flavor of the chemical is sweet, so your pet could try to lick it up. If you have the antifreeze out to do winter care on the car, don't forget to clean up any spilled chemicals.