Cold Weather Tips to Keep Your Pets Comfortable
Temperatures are dropping, and it’s time to think about the dangers this presents for our pets, both indoors and out. Although some pets are conditioned to cold weather, veterinary experts agree that you should bring outdoor pets in if the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies, kittens, and short haired pets should not be left outside any time the temperature goes below 40 degrees. Proper grooming is essential to help them maintain a layer of warming air within their coat. Pets who are heavily matted cannot keep themselves warm.
If your pet must stay outdoors, be sure to provide shelter; they can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia, too. A pet’s outdoor house must have at least three enclosed sides, be elevated off the ground and contain generous amounts of bedding; a house just big enough for your pet will warm up faster and retain heat better than one that’s too big. Use heated water bowls and replenish them frequently. Cats love to warm up underneath car hoods; be sure to pound on the hood of the car prior to starting it. Keep antifreeze out of reach. Keep dogs leashed so they won’t fall through ice into frigid water.
Inside the house, monitor pets around wood stoves, fireplaces, space heaters and candles, to avoid severe burns or fire. Pets with arthritis may need a vet’s attention to alleviate the pain.