There’s no denying it – it’s been cold and will only continue to get colder! Thankfully now-a-days, we’re reminded by everyone including our local news programs to bring the pets inside when it gets too cold. Caring for these outdoor family members is especially important in the winter.
Keep an Eye on the Thermostat
So just how cold does it need to be in order to bring in your pets? The answer is pretty standard in that when there are sub-freezing temperatures, bring them into shelter at night. Whereas large changes in temperature can be hard on the immune system of some dogs, it can be best to simply bring them into the garage or shed if you have one in the back yard. Also helpful can be structures within a fenced-in area, such as a doghouse.
Clean them Off
When you bring them in, make sure that there isn’t any ice or snow collected on their paws, tails, or snouts. If there is any, simply use a towel to wipe it off. Otherwise, it will melt indoors and the moisture – mixed with cold – can also affect the ability of the pet to fight off disease.
Watch for Dampness
Remember to check your pet’s bedding if it’s making regular trips out into the cold. This is especially important because the cold weather attracts more moisture, especially collecting on your companion’s warm fur. They will often times drag this inside with them and deposit it onto the bedding, making it damp and cold.
Change the Water
One of the biggest problems that outdoor pets face is their water bowl. If the weather is literally freezing, this means that any still source of water will easily freeze fairly quickly. This will greatly hinder your pet’s ability to drink it. Make sure to put out warm water and check on it more often than you otherwise would, switching it out if it freezes.
Remember also that their bodies will consume more calories than normal in the cold weather. An increase in the amount they consume might be important – make sure to check in with their veterinarian to decide. Having more food can sometimes help them have more energy and keep warm when outside.