Protect Your Pets During Cold Weather — Ideally, Bring Them Inside

While you are busy working to protect you family and home from cold weather, don't forget pets.

Ideally, pets should remain inside during cold weather. Pets that are older, very young or have short hair are especially vulnerable in cold weather situations.

If temperatures drop below 15 degrees, pets should be moved indoors. If a pet is shivering or cannot play, it usually means the pet is too cold and should be brought inside.

Outdoor pets need more food than usual in cold weather, and they need to be protected by an insulated house or garage. Make sure that the house is not too large and that there are blankets or hay inside to warm pets. A flap that covers the door of the house can also protect pets from wind and cold temperatures.

Cats often find shelter in garages. Make sure your garage has a pet door so your pet can go inside if it becomes cold.

Unfortunately, they also like the warmth under the hood of a car. It is important to check under your car's hood before starting it. Sometimes cats will sleep there to stay warm.

If your pet stays outdoors in extremely cold temperatures it may get frostbite. The most affected areas on an animal is its ears, paw pads and tails. Frostbitten areas should be bathed in warm, not hot water, and the pet should be taken to an animal hospital.

A less serious side effect of cold weather can be dry skin. Brushing your pets fur can help relieve dry skin.

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