When the temperatures drop, it is easy for us to stay warm and bundled up inside. Keep the hot coffee coming please! But, what about our dogs? Even in the cold winter months, most of our furry friends need to head outdoors to do their business and also to have some much needed exercise. It is important to remember that even though they may have fur coats, we still need to take care of them in cold weather. Dog safety is vital.
In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association states:
Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods in below-freezing weather.
When you do take your dog outside remember the following two pieces of advice:
Remember to keep walks or periods spent in the yard brief. As the AVMA points out, “Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health.” So, watch your pet, and know that you may need to cut walks or playtime even shorter than originally planned.
Those little dog sweaters do look cute. They can also be very helpful when it comes to keeping your pet warm this winter. Booties are also available to protect feet.
A well maintained heating system is key to a safe and comfortable winter. If the furnace goes out, your pet will be just as impacted as you, so make sure to have it inspected each year.
Furthermore, the ASPCA recommends increasing your dog’s food intake during the winter as staying warm burns extra calories.
Be sure to check out the ASPCA and AVMA websites for more information about pet safety. Don’t hesitate to contact Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical for any questions about keeping your home warm. We are here to keep you and your family (pets too!) safe and comfortable.