Special weather bulletin: It’s going go be COLD this week! There may be days when the temperature doesn’t get above freezing. This week it’s probably going to be too cold for any pet to stay outside at night – even if you have an ‘outdoor’ pet. Bring them inside, or put them into a garage or other warmer space. Here are some specifics:

Dogs. If your dog is outside during the day, make sure that your doghouse is the right size. Your dog should have enough room to sit and lie down comfortably – and not much more. The confined area will help to hold in body heat. Insulate the floor with cedar shavings or straw. Cover the door, and make sure it faces away from the wind.

Doggie clothing is also a good option. Sweaters are great – but boots may provide even more protection. Doggie feet get really cold, and the hair can get wet and frozen, adding to the problem.

You may also want to take shorter walks, which will mean you stay warmer, too!

Cats. Cats are going to stay warm, and the biggest danger to them is that they might find warmth someplace dangerous. Car engines are a favorite, so always beep your horn before starting your vehicle – even if you have remote start. Cats are also notorious for getting stuck under houses, inside heating enclosures, and in other warm areas. If you have feral cats that you absolutely can’t bring indoors, you may want to set up a warm area for them. Here are some inexpensive and cheap ideas.

For all animals. Take a break from bathing unless it’s absolutely necessary. If the roads or your steps are salted, make sure you wipe any residue off paws! Watch out for leaked antifreeze; it’s poisonous, but has a very tempting sweet smell and taste. Avoid the temptation to overfeed. Most pets have enough body fat already…
Don’t Forget! When it freezes, your pet’s water will freeze! Make sure you keep a fresh source of water available!

Our final piece of advice is to you. Go ahead and turn up the thermostat a bit. Get out your footie pajamas, make yourself a mug of hot cocoa, then snuggle up with your favorite pet and a good book.