If you have pets that are kept outdoors, times of severe or extreme weather can be a bigger concern than those with indoor pets. The best time to make a plan for the pets you house outdoors is before the cold weather approaches.
Below freezing temperatures can be fatal to domesticated animals, but there are things you can do to help protect them.
Bringing In Pets During A Freeze
If you can bring them in, they can be kept in a bathroom, laundry room, mudroom, even a basement or garage that will protect them from the elements.
This is especially important for short-haired pets. They are less able to regulate their body temperature than a long-haired pet. Keeping an emergency crate on hand for this kind of situation is a good idea.
Dogs who are typically kept outdoors are accustomed to going to the bathroom when they please. This makes getting them to go in a timely fashion difficult sometimes. However, please be sure to accompany your dog outside and monitor the time spent outdoors during a bathroom break. Hypothermia and frostbite can be fatal, so check their feet and the tips of their ears when bringing them back inside.
Protecting Pets Outdoors During A Freeze
If there is no way to safely bring a pet indoors, there are things you can do to help them stay warm:
- Lay straw down on the ground to help insulate and protect them.
- Use outdoor-rated heat lamps to provide warmth.
- Make sure that they have access to unfrozen water to drink at all times.
- Utilize tarps to block off wind if your pet is in a kennel-style fenced area. Sometimes the wind-chill can greatly decrease the temperature, further putting your pet’s health at risk.
- Protect them from ice & salt treatments. For your own use, pet-safe ice treatments are sold; but if you are walking your pet and are unsure what neighbors use, please wipe paws off once returning indoors.
Do you have a tip to share that isn’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!