CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP/WIVT) — During extreme cold, it’s important to keep an eye on your pets while they are outside. If you are cold, then your pet is probably cold too, and it’s important to know their limits.
According to the ASPCA, some pets are more susceptible to the cold than others. Short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dogs get cold more quickly than others. It is also important to check around your vehicle before moving. Cats often sleep in the wheel wells of cars during the winter months to keep warm.
The Humane Society adds some helpful pointers to keep your animals warm when temperatures are low:
- Keep pets inside: Your dog or cat may love roaming around the yard in other seasons, but when the temperatures dip, bring them inside most of the time. The Humane Society says that if your animal must be outside for a long period of time, make sure they have a dry, draft-free shelter. Cover the floor with cedar shavings or straw, and have a burlap or heavy plastic door.
- Bundle them up: Much like us, pets need protective layering when going for walks or spending time outside. Windchill doesn’t spare pets, and may even be life threatening. When walking your dog, be mindful of exposed skin on their noses, ears and paw pads. Invest in a coat or sweater to keep them warner, and make sure to wipe off their paws when you’re back inside to reduce irritation from street salt.
- Remove common poisons: Antifreeze is deadly, and it has a sweet taste that your animals may like. Wipe any spills up immediately and keep out of reach. Dogs can also be at risk for salt poisoning, especially if rock salt sticks to their paws after a walk. If you see your dog licking rock salt, call your vet.