Our animal friends are equipped to handle winter weather better than us, but it always helps to give them a little boost. Here are some ideas for lending a helping hand to the animal world during winter.
- Provide a source of water. Heated bird baths or water bowls help wildlife when drinking water is scarce.
- Provide additional shelter. Add a few bird houses to your property and see who moves in. Brush piles are also a welcome shelter for small animals.
- Provide additional food. Providing natural seeds and berries from your trees, shrubs and perennials is best. For additional calories, put a blend of bird seed out for feeding. Bird seed can also help you from slipping on the driveway/sidewalk ice.
- Use nontoxic antifreeze. Purchase nontoxic antifreeze with propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol, which kills animals even in small doses.
- Use a salt free ice melt. If you need to melt ice, look for an eco-friendly one, read the ingredient list and avoid sodium chloride which kills plants/soil, hurts animals and the water system and damages hardscapes over time. Other items that add traction to an icy area are sand, kitty litter, ashes, and saw dust.