Pet Safety During Cold Weather

It’s important to remember your pets’ needs during this week’s below-freezing, single-digit temperatures.  (Brrr!)  The following tips are from a Colorado Dept. of Agriculture media release:

Ø  Keep pets inside. If animals can’t be inside, provide a warm, comfortable place. Face shelter away from wind and provide a flap or door to help keep the animal’s body heat inside.
Ø  Bedding is essential. It insulates the animal from the snow and ice underneath the body and allows the animal to retain heat within the bedding.
Ø  Cats may sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm. If you have outdoor felines in your neighborhood, check under the hood before starting your car.
Ø  When walking your pet, keep them on leashes; they can’t rely on their sense of smell in the snow and may become lost.
Ø  Wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach after being outdoors to remove any ice, salt or chemicals. 
Ø  Outdoor pets need more calories to produce body heat so extra food and water must be provided. Devices are now available to keep water dishes from freezing; if one is not available, fill and replace water frequently.

The CDA also warns that pets are also susceptible to hypothermia, so be watchful for signs including shivering, listlessness, and body temperature below 97 degrees, followed by collapse and coma.  If your pet shows signs of hypothermia, see a vet immediately.