The Cold Temperatures and Your Furry Friends

NOW: The Cold Temperatures and Your Furry Friends

This time of year with temperatures being below freezing, you aren't the only one feeling the effects. Your cat and dog both are impacted by the extreme cold. Did you know certain breeds of cats and dogs are impacted differently by the freezing temperatures? Also, those cute sweaters that you love to put on your pets, may make it worse for them when outside.

I spoke to one local veterinarian, Rachel Sparke, about how to help keep your furry friends safe when in the freezing cold. She said that certain breeds of cats and dogs handle the cold better than others, and for those breeds you wouldn't want to put a sweater on if they are outside for shorter periods of time. These are breeds with thick coats of fur. Them wearing the sweater is like a human wearing too many layers when going outside to shovel the driveway. You interfere with the bodies natural way of regulating the body temperature, and this is the same for those pets. Another popular clothing item pet owners put on their animals are boots. These however, are actually beneficial. The salt and ice on the sidewalks can damage the pads on their paws and lead to cuts and irritation. If you don't have boots on your pet make sure to clear their feet whenever they come inside with water and a dry towel.

It is also important to remember if you have puppies, kittens, or elderly animals; their bodies won't regulate their core temperatures as well. This is when a sweater would be beneficial regardless of the breed. Animals in these categories should not be outside long in the frigid temperatures.

Last but not least, when dealing with cold temperatures this time of year, before you start your vehicle in the mornings make sure to tap on the hood or sound the horn. Engines produce heat when they run, and outside animals may gravitate to hiding under the hood after you park in order to warm themselves. 

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