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Vets: Negative temps mean you should only let the dog out for 3 to 4 minutes

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Dressing the kids for a cold day? Well, there’s one more part of the family you should dress for those cold days – your dog!
Negative temperatures in the forecast next week can put your furry friends at risk for hypothermia and more and vets are warning pet owners to limit their time outdoors, even if they love the snow.

“Just a few minutes, in and out is more than enough,” Dr. Kathleen Neuoff said, a veterinarian at Magrane Pet Medical Center in Mishawaka.

“Five to 10 minutes and you can end up with frostbite,” Neuoff said. “The rule of thumb when its weather like this is basically just 3 or 4 minutes to let them out.”

With high temperatures in the negatives, Nueoff recommends pet owners dress their dogs. She also warns that one part of their body is a little more important than others.

“So, if they’re going to be outside, they need to have their feet protected with some kind of covering,” Nueoff said. “Some dogs will wear socks; sometimes you can use a little vaseline in between the paws so that they don’t accumulate ice.”  

While socks are a must, not all dogs need coats.

“Coats help for some dogs that have very thin coats like dachshunds, but if you put a dog like a toy poodle in a coat, it actually can make them more cold because the coat loses its insulating ability when it gets compressed.”

So when braving the weather to let the dog do his business just remember one thing ---

“It doesn’t take very long for a pet to end up with frostbite.”

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