Winter Pet Safety
When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep all animals indoors except when exercising or relieving themselves. “Outdoor” dogs should have a dry, comfortable, draft-free doghouse large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in his body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Pet stores carry safe heated floor mats and non-electric warm bedding. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Pets require more calories in lower temperatures because exercise is more strenuous and higher fuel intake helps your pet to maintain body temperature. I've noticed that the last month or so my furry friend, Sammy, is eating almost double what he normally eats- looks like bulking up for winter is a real thing!
Pets must have fresh water at all times. Check the water bowl regularly to ensure it’s full and unfrozen. Use a tip-proof bowl to keep Fido’s paws from freezing. And never use a metal water bowl— the tongue will stick to wet metal, and injury will result.
Use an old towel to wipe off paws when your dog comes inside to prevent frostbite (bonus points, it also helps keep your floors clean).
If your dog’s paws come in contact with salt and de-icing chemicals during a walk, rinse the feet off and dry thoroughly once you’re back inside.
During the day, you may feel compelled to turn down the heat to save on your energy bills- even with a fur coat, pets can still get cold. If possible keep the heat down to 66* or above and leave out an old blanket or two for your fur baby to curl up in while you're not there.
What do you do to make sure your pet is comfortable in the colder months?