How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Outdoor Pets?

As colder weather is now approaching, you need to know how to keep your pets safe this winter, especially if they like to spend a lot of time outside. You may not realize how much your cat and/or dog is affected by the cold temperatures. Just because they have fur coats does not mean they are protected from freezing weather. So, exactly how cold is too cold for your outdoor pets? 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you more about cold weather safety practices you should keep in mind this winter.

Bring your pets indoors when it drops below freezing.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), you should keep your cats and dogs inside when the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them safe from frostbite and hypothermia. This includes long-haired breeds like huskies.

Provide shelter if your pet must be outside for a period of time.

Of course, it is not recommended to leave your pet outside in cold weather for a long period of time, but if your dog must be outdoors at all, be sure he has a sturdy and warm shelter that will protect him from the wind. It is important that the floor of this shelter to be off of the ground to minimize heat loss. Also, the door of the shelter should be positioned away from the direction of the wind. You can place thick, dry bedding inside the shelter, but make sure to change this regularly. Never use space heaters or heat lamps inside the shelter because of the risks of burns or fires.

Be alert to the signs of hypothermia and other cold weather ailments.

If you ever notice that your pet is shivering, whining, moving slowly, or seems weak and/or anxious, you should bring him inside as soon as possible as these are signs of hypothermia. When you suspect your pet has hypothermia, frostbite, or other type reaction to the cold weather, you should bring him into 5 Points Animal Hospital immediately.

Keep your pets safe and warm this winter. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to learn more cold weather safety practices for your cats and dogs.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Outdoor Pets?

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