Tuesday, January 5, 2010

If It's Too Cold For You....

My car told me it was cold this morning. It's true, a very cute little snow flake appeared on my dash, accompanied by a soft chime. OK I get it, it's cold out.
It wasn't long after I arrived at work yesterday morning that a local news station called wanting to do a story on the freezing temperatures and pets. So I headed out in the cold to meet them.

My standard answer of course to the question "what to do with your outside pets on a cold night" is "bring them inside where they belong."
Look, it isn't rocket science, if YOU are cold THEY are cold. Simple as that.

It is true that animals tend to have better survival skills than we do, and a dogs natural body temperature is higher than ours, but that does not make them any less susceptible to the cold and even worse, the wind.
You MUST get your pet out of the wind and off of the ground. If nothing else, allow them into your garage for the night with a blanket or two. (Note: please make sure that you pick up and move any hazardous materials from said garage before closing them in for the night.)

Place a door on your out side dog house to block the wind and make sure that they have DRY blankets and non frozen water to drink.
If you have a chain link kennel with cement floor, tie tarps around the sides and secure them on all sides. Give your dog a Kuranda type bed to get them up off the floor.

Horses should be brought inside the barn and blanketed. Be careful of heaters though as they do pose a fire threat.

In a perfect world everyone would have an inside pet. A true member of the family. (I felt guilty yesterday for turning the heat off in the house and finding it at 66 degrees when I got home. (Not cold for doggy standards by any means, but I left it on today anyway!)

If you can spare a blanket or two, please donate them to your local shelter to help warm a homeless pets' spirit; and if you see a stray or loose dog pull over and help them find their way home or to the shelter, where at least they will be fed and (hopefully) out of the elements.

Happy New Year and please...stay warm!

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