Short, cold days can make you want to cuddle up on the couch, but there are some pets that need to go outside. Do you know which ones?
Tiny paws and furry ears aren’t immune to the cold. Pets — including dogs, cats, birds, and even turtles — are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.
Keep your pet safe with these tips:
- Give your pet plenty of time to adjust to temperatures before taking it outside for a walk or playtime. If it’s a short-haired breed, consider buying a sweater or coat that keeps it warm while still letting it show its breed.
- Bring your pet indoors if the temperature drops into the 30s or 20s. If you have an outdoor cat that stays warm in your house, bring it inside at night when temperatures drop below freezing.
- Protect outdoor pets from the wind chill. A silk-like scarf can help keep its neck warm and prevent hair from freezing against its skin.
- Refrain from feeding pets outside during a freeze. It’s best to bring them inside first so they don’t risk eating something that could make them sick — or worse, get stuck outside by accident.
- Tails are especially vulnerable because the blood vessels in them shrink in cold weather. When that happens, the blood supply is cut off. To prevent this, cover your pet’s tail with a sweater or coat whenever you go outside in cold weather.
- Take extra care when bathing pets during wintertime—it’s easy for them to catch a cold after getting soaking wet!
- Cover your pet’s food and water dishes so they don’t freeze over. Even if you leave some food out for your cat or dog, cover the rest. And remember to bring in any leftover water that hasn’t frozen yet.