The first official day of winter isn’t until the 21st- but if you spend a few minutes outdoors it doesn’t take too long to realize that winter weather is already here. That means you need to take extra pre-cautions when outdoors; not just for yourself, but also your pet. News Source 8′s Angela Christoforos has tips on how to keep your pets warm this winter…
Some pets enjoy being outside in the snow, and some prefer admiring the blanket of white from the comfort of the indoors. But whether your pet enjoys winter weather or not- you need to keep the harsh cold in mind and limit the amount of time they spend outside.
“If it’s gonna be you know, zero, below zero, freezing temperatures, you should really keep it in. Their paws are not covered with fur, so the cold is definitely gonna, it would be like going out there in your own bare feet.” said, Manager of the Central Aroostook Humane Society Betsy Hallett.
It doesn’t take very long for a cat to get frost bite- just 20 to 30 minutes out in the cold can freeze the tips of a cats ears and tail.
Hallett said, ”We have actually had a lot of cats come in with frost bitten pads, where the skin peels off their feet and will bleed. I pretty much see a lot more cats than dogs that come in with frost bite.”
But that doesn’t mean that the same can’t happen to dogs. Even if your pup IS built for cold weather, outdoor housing must have insulation, bedding, and some type of shield from the wind.
“Dogs with short coats when they’re going outside you should think about having some kind of a coat for them,” said Dr. Andrea Pesut, Veterinarian and Co-owner of the Presque Isle Animal Hospital
When it comes to your pets food and water supply- keep it indoors to avoid the risk of it freezing.
“Dogs and cats should just go out to go to the bathroom, get a little bit of exercise, and then be right back indoors,” said Dr. Andrea Pesut.
When the temperature drops it’s best to keep your pet inside where your four-legged family member will stay safe and warm.
If you see a stray pet shivering outside, call an animal control officer or the local police department. They can pick up animals anytime of the day or night. And one more thing about your pet, they do make boots you can buy for their feet!