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Cold Weather and Pets

Cold Weather and Pets
Posted on 02/16/2021
Dog Playing in the SnowBring your pet in when it is cold outside.

With frigid temperatures during the winter, it is important to remember to keep your pets indoor. This applies to both dogs and cats. Granted some of the thicker longer coated breeds, such as Huskies, Akitas and Malamutes, thrive in colder temperatures and love to stay outside in the snow, but they should always be given the option to come inside to escape the cold.

According to city ordinance, all pets must have adequate protection from the weather and have access to food and water. A metal water dish in cold weather should never be used as a dog's tongue can get stuck to it. Water should be checked frequently to ensure that is not frozen.

When the weather drops below freezing, a poorly insulated shelter may not provide the warmth needed to keep a pet safe. Being exposed to harsh weather conditions for an extended period of time can cause hypothermia, frostbite or even death. Being neglectful to a pet's needs can result in a cruelty charge, a hefty fine and in some cases confiscation of the animal.

If you believe that an animal is being mistreated, call 303.326.8288 option 6 to speak with an Animal Protection Officer.

Winter dog walks.

Winter Dog on LeashKeeping your dog comfortable and warm while out on a walk can be challenging for some dog owners. Dogs with shorter fur coats, smaller dogs and senior pets can easily feel the effectives of the cold. Providing your dog with a coat, sweater or booties can be hugely beneficial in keeping them warm. Booties can also protect their paws from harsh chemicals used for deicing.

If possible, dogs should be walked mid-day when it is typically the warmest hours of the day and to avoid walking at night when temperatures start to plummet. Walks should be frequent but shorter to limit their exposure to the cold.

It is also important to keep your dog leashed while on a walk. Not only is it a city ordinance, but keeping your dog leashed can keep them from getting lost during a winter snowstorm. Dogs rely on their sense of smell to guide them home and this can be a difficult task if snow is covering their surroundings.

Cats under the car hood.

Cat Keeping WarmIt is also good practice to always give a little pound on the hood of your car before starting your car. Cats have been known to seek warmth and shelter under the hood of cars. This can be extremely dangerous for the cats, causing injury or death when the car is started.

For other winter pet tips visit our segment in February AuroraTV!

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