Don't forget about your pets during cold weather

January 11, 2018 by Megan Huckaby, Purdue University

It's easy to let your dog outside in the backyard for a few minutes to get some exercise or use the bathroom. But, during the winter months, cold spells or deep freezes could be hazardous.

"As temperatures drop below freezing, it is important to be aware of whether a dog has been spending lots of time outside in the fall, which would make it more acclimated to the cold weather, or whether it is primarily indoors," says Dr. Steve Thompson, clinical associate professor of small animal community practice at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

As the temperature drops below 20 degrees, the amount of time a dog spends outside should be limited. He says that should be out no more than a half hour and progressively less time as the temperature drops.

Thompson also says that any clothing, even the cute sweaters from the pet store, can help in the cold weather. However, owners must make sure they stay dry or they lose their insulating ability. There is no harm in leaving the sweaters on inside either, as long there are no strings or attachments the dogs could get a hold of and eat or get tangled up in their feet or jaws.

Actual cold gear, like neoprene vests, is available for dogs that are working in the .

He also says to make sure that there is a dry area near the door so that the dogs last step is not in melted snow from shoes.

"If their pads get wet just prior to heading outside, this can be much more painful when stepping on ice or walking through snow," Thomspon says. Snow salt should be removed when the dog returns inside to limit and to prevent them from ingesting it.

Explore further: Protecting dogs in winter from extreme cold, ice, salt and deicers

More information: For more information, see … ther-pet-safety.aspx

Related Stories

Layer up when temperatures plummet

January 3, 2018

(HealthDay)—Two-thirds of the United States is grappling with bitterly cold temperatures as an Arctic front slides across the country, so one emergency doctor offers practical advice for those caught in the frigid weather.

Recommended for you

In colliding galaxies, a pipsqueak shines bright

February 20, 2019

In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material. These two monsters should be the most luminous X-ray sources in sight, but a new study using ...

Research reveals why the zebra got its stripes

February 20, 2019

Why do zebras have stripes? A study published in PLOS ONE today takes us another step closer to answering this puzzling question and to understanding how stripes actually work.

When does one of the central ideas in economics work?

February 20, 2019

The concept of equilibrium is one of the most central ideas in economics. It is one of the core assumptions in the vast majority of economic models, including models used by policymakers on issues ranging from monetary policy ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.