We hear it all the time: 'Oh, they wear a permanent fur coat; so, they can handle the cold weather.' Pet owners need to take care of their pets in the cold and watch the length of time that pets stay outside to avoid health complications. Dogs that stay outside in the fenced-in yard for too long risk hypothermia and other health problems due to frigid temperatures.
While dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily activity, their time outdoors will shorten in the winter. It's important to pay attention to pet's tolerance levels to see how much they can handle outside. Walks and time outside may need to be shortened to 15 minutes. If snow is on the ground, dogs may need to wear sweaters and protective booties to protect their foot pads from water damage. Dogs will also need to be dried off with a towel after playing in the snow.
If dogs and cats start acting differently, they may require a trip to the vet for evaluation.
Click here for other winter pet safety tips.