You pets may have thick coat to protect them from cold but animals can still suffer hypothermia or frostbite even with those thick coats. When wind chills drop to minus-5, you will feel cold even if you are in a fur coat.
Here are some pet safety tips during Cold weather:
- During cold weather your pets should be inside the house. Similar to humans, pets are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Their fur is not enough to keep them warm. Huskies or dogs with thick coat are more tolerant of cold weather, but still you should not leave your pets outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.
- If it is too cold even inside the house, give your pets a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck. They should be covered from the base of the tail to the belly.
- If your pets have to stay outside during cold weather, give him/her a solid shelter that can withstand wind and will keep your pets warm inside. It should have three enclosed sides. The floor of the pet house should be a few inches above ground to minimize heat loss into the ground. The beddings like straw or hay should also be thick and dry that is changed regularly.
- The door to the pet house should be build away from prevailing winds. Avoid space heaters and heat lamps due to fire and burn risks.
- Provide your pets with unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water. You can use heated water bowls so that their water does not freeze, and replenish them frequently. Lack of enough fresh water can cause dehydration which can lead to kidney failure.
- Old and sick pets may suffer more from arthritis during cold months. Outdoor exposure should be limited during extreme weather.