Gabby here! Just like people, our cold tolerance can vary based on our coat, body fat, activity and health. I am 11 and if your pets are a little older like me, be sure to get a wellness exam to check for arthritis. Shorten our walks in very cold weather as we may have difficulty walking on the snow and ice. Our long-haired pets tend to be more cold tolerant but are still at risk while our short haired pets will feel the cold faster because of less protection. It is a common belief that dogs and cats are more resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and we should be kept inside.
If you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure they have unlimited access to fresh not frozen water by changing the water frequently or using pet-safe heated bowls. The floor of the shelter should be off the ground to minimize heat loss and the bedding should be thick and dry.
Although I love to play in the snow, it’s not safe for me to be out for long periods of time. When I start shivering, slow down, whine or look for a warm place to go, my owners know I’ve been out way too long. These are a few signs to look for when we’re out in the cold too long. As with people, frostbite is harder to detect and may not been seen for a few days after. Recognize the warning signs and bring your pet inside as soon as you see any of these symptoms.