Cold Weather Tips
It would appear that winter is in full swing with a possible cold spell on everyone’s mind this weekend. We thought this would be a good opportunity to post a few cold weather tips for you and your pets.
We all have the option of bundling up in our warmest jackets, hats and gloves when the temperature dips down, but our pets don’t necessarily have it so easy. The cold can certainly take its toll on your furry companions. Hypothermia, dehydration and access to potentially toxic chemicals top the list of things to watch out for.
- Hypothermia can be a serious problem for pets left out in the cold. Some breeds of dogs can tolerate temperatures into the 20′s and below, but most of our Portland-climatized pooches haven’t really been exposed to those sorts of temperatures. Couple the cold with some of the winter winds that come whipping through and you’ve got a recipe for life-threatening conditions. Be sure to give your pet shelter, away from any strong winds and preferably with some method for warmth within. Blankets, thick towels or old quilts can be an excellent insulator. Don’t use electric blankets or other “people” heated products. They can be far too warm for pets, causing burns in some cases. They are also fire/electric hazards when coupled with an un-monitored pet. There are heated pet products available that keep them warm but not too warm and are made for pet/outdoor use as well as a number of housing options.
- Cats and smaller dogs need to be kept indoors when it is below freezing. Their little bodies simply cannot acclimate to the cold temperatures.
- Dehydration can be a serious issue as well. Your pet will instinctively drink less in the cold so be sure that they are staying properly hydrated and keep an eye on that water dish outdoors as it may freeze over.
- Some chemical based snow and ice melting products can be hazardous to your pet. Be aware of the products you are using and your pets and/or neighbor’s pets potential exposure to them.
- If you are going to be active and outdoors with your pet, make sure they have access to ample food and water. They will be burning more energy just trying to keep themselves warm and need the extra calories.
Stay safe and warm everybody!