Winter Pet Safety
Just a reminder that when the temperature drops below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep all animals indoors except when exercising or relieving themselves. “Outdoor” dogs should have a dry, comfortable, draft-free doghouse large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in his body heat. Wanting to build or modify your outdoor pet shelter? Here are a few tips!
- The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Click HERE for a helpful video on how to make a DIY raised bed or click HERE for a quick link to raised beds on Amazon! If you're wanting a project, pet stores carry safe heated floor mats and non-electric warm bedding.
- The doorway should be faced away from the wind and covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. You can also use scraps of old carpeting or bathmats as well!
- Ensure access to water by checking the water bowl regularly or by placing a heated water bowl in the middle of the bed. If you do not already have a heated bowl, they run anywhere from $19 to over $100 depending on brand, size and other variables. Make sure to use a tip-proof, non-metal bowl to avoid freezing paws and potential injury.
Regardless of where your pets spend most of their time, our four-legged friends require more calories in lower temperatures! Colder weather makes exercise more strenuous and a higher fuel intake helps your pet to maintain an appropriate body temperature. I wish I could say the same thing about human bodies!
Finally, if your animal's paws come in contact with salt and de-icing chemicals, rinse the feet off and dry thoroughly once you’re back inside. Prolonged contact can lead to chemical burns and no one wants that! No need to avoid walks, just be diligent about cleaning paws afterwards.
Have a great day and stay warm out there!