2010-01-08 / Pets

Cold weather is not for pets

Contributed by Pat McQueen, president of Pets, Inc.

Right now, with these cold temperature, our pets, especially elderly dogs, dogs with short coats, or poorly nourished ones, as well as puppies, should never be left outside on days and nights in weather that we’ve experienced lately. Temperatures under 40 would be extremely tough on them, even in a doghouse. The same applies to our cats (who love warmth, as any cat owner knows.) They always seem to gravitate towards a fireplace or a bed, sofa, or other soft surface. But then, all animals love comfort. My four BIG dogs as well as my two cats always find a soft spot and congregate around the fireplace

Yes, Labradors are able to withstand extremely cold temps (up North), but that doesn't mean they like it. They'd probably prefer to be in a warm cozy home with their families. But Labs or mixes in the South are not used to these temperatures, and their coats are not as thick.

Doghouses should be dry because there’s no sense throwing an old blanket in your pet’s doghouse if it can get wet. Also, dogs sleeping on concrete or cold ground are much more likely to get arthritis and painful joints. If they MUST stay outdoors (sad!), insure their doghouse has cedar shavings and/or a dry blanket, their water bowl is large enough to keep the water from freezing (check it often), and they have more nutritious food than they would need in the hot months.

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