Cold weather protection for pets

Temperatures around here have been cool but not uncomfortably so, especially if you keep a coat handy. But that’s changing and the weather forecast includes some low nighttime temperatures – and forecasts for this coming week show at least one day where the whole day will stay below freezing.

I admit I like it on the warmer side, so cold weather is uncomfortable for me. But what about our pets? After all, they are wearing fur coats.

It is true that an animal that spends most of its time outdoors in the winter usually develops a short, dense undercoat that helps protect it from the effects of the cold. But if you have a pet that stays indoors most of the time, it won’t develop a winter undercoat to protect it from the cold weather. So when your friend goes out to relieve himself, don’t let him stay out too long.

Even if you have an outdoor pet, you may need to bring them inside as temperatures drop into the twenties or lower. To prevent it from running free around the house, you can lock it in the kitchen or laundry room for the night. A basement or garage is another place where your outdoor pets can find shelter from the cold. Be sure to provide him with some kind of bedding so he’s not sleeping on a cold, hard floor, and keep him away from drafts. And remember, even in the coldest temperatures, all animals (indoors and outdoors) need fresh, unfrozen water to drink.

Another caveat – in cold weather, cats often take shelter in the engine compartments of cars – they can get up off the ground from the wind, and even get warm if the car has recently been driven. If cats have access to your car, you can avoid potential tragedy by banging on the hood several times, then waiting a minute before starting the engine.

Keeping your furry friend safe and warm in cold weather should be at the top of your to-do list right now, when it comes to pets.


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