This year’s winter just won’t take the hint and hit the road, while at the same time, spring’s decided to play hard to get. With the confusing mishmash of temperatures we’re seeing, you should know what kind of weather your pets can — or cannot — handle.
It’s always a good day when you get to pet a dog or two during your daily run. But at what point does it become unsafe for your beloved pets to be outdoors?
According to Amanda Milewski, with Runner Click, it can depend on the breed of dog you have. Much like their owners, dogs come in a diverse variety of shapes and sizes, and this means some are better suited for winter running than others. Canines with short hair should probably have some additional layers if you’re planning to take them out in the cold.
Additionally, it’s recommended you do your best to keep your pup’s paws covered when you’re expecting a lot of ice or snow throughout your trek outdoors. Makes sense, right? Have you ever experienced the unpleasant sensation of stepping barefoot on ice, or even a bit of snow? Well, regardless of breed, your dog’s paws are just as sensitive to walking on cold textures. And if wrestling booties onto them is too much, make sure you remember to wash their paws after every run or extended venture outside, and also clean any remnants of ice or road salt.
Most important though is to pay close attention to your pet’s behavior while outside in any sort of weather conditions (hot or cold). They know how they’re feeling, but can’t verbally communicate to you when they’re ready to call it quits. So it’s up to you to pick up on the physical signs they’re trying to show.
And don’t think I’ve forgotten about all the cat-lovers out there! Whether or not you let your cat venture outdoors is a huge decision. In addition to the traditional potential dangers you need to keep in mind (cars, parasites, territorial animals, etc.), it’s especially important to take note of how the weather could affect your feline’s well-being.
You may be thinking, “But my cat dons a natural fur coat! How cold could they possibly get when they’re outside?”
While, yes, cats are able to acclimate comfortably to lower temperatures, when those numbers drop below freezing your furry friend is now at risk of catching hypothermia, or frostbite. When it gets this chilly, your cat will venture to find somewhere it can warm up. A particular hotspot (ha!) for cats to snuggle up is beneath nearby cars. As you can imagine, this can quickly turn into a fatal situation should the car start while your cat is hiding beneath it.
Dr. Chris Miller, with AtlasVet D.C., provides more information here, as well as some suggestions for how building a warm place for your cat to hang out in the winter can turn into an exciting DIY project for you and your family!
What precautions do you take to keep your pets warm during the winter? Let us know in the comments!