Half the United States is currently shivering under temperatures and wind chills that are below normal for this time of year, and authorities are warning people to bring their pets inside to prevent them from freezing to death.
Sadly, there have already been reports of dogs dying due to exposure. Kristina Rinaldi, the executive director of the Detroit Dog Rescue, told Fox2:
“We are seeing a lot of dogs frozen to death right now.”
How cold is too cold to leave your dog outside for an extended period of time? Luckily, the folks at PetPlan took information from the Tufts Animal Care and Condition Scales to make an easy-to-read chart. Many places in the country are in red zone temperatures right now, and all dogs should be kept indoors except for quick potty breaks.
When you do have to take your dog out to their business, try to keep your trips as short as possible. A coat or sweater may be needed for small dogs or those with short or thin hair. Booties may be a good idea to help protect your pup’s paws from the frozen ground. Check out this article for more top safety tips for the winter!
If your dog is showing any symptoms of hypothermia, you should call the vet and try to warm up your dog immediately by bringing them to a warm room and covering them with warm (but not hot) water bottles, blankets, and towels. Heating pads can burn your dog and there should be several layers of protection between the pad and your dog’s skin. Symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, weakness, a blue tinge to the tongue or lips, and shortness of breath.
Bundle up everybody, and let’s keep our pets, ourselves, and our neighbors warm during this cold snap!
(H/T: NTD, NY Daily News, Fox2)