Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baby, It's Cold Outside for Pets

   This is the time of year when warnings about leaving your pet outdoors in the cold weather are everywhere. The temperatures in many parts of the country plunge into the single digits or below. There is a time when it is just too cold for your dog or cat to be out in the elements without proper shelter.
Bentley Basset Hound in the snow

 It would be nice if every pet had a warm cozy bed to relax on beside a roaring fireplace. However, there are many dogs that simply prefer the great outdoors and are bred to withstand the cold. Breeds like the Husky or Newfoundland LOVE the cold and many refuse to come indoors. That doesn’t mean that they should be left without any means of protection from the bitterly cold wind, freezing rain, ice, or snow. Every dog that lives outside should have a dog house that they can take refuge inside when the weather calls for it. Those houses need to have blankets or even hay inside to help keep the dogs warm. You can hang a towel over the door to cut down on the wind.
Bentley Basset and Pierre Westie playing in the snow
   Cats are simply not made to endure sub-freezing temperatures although many are forced to do so each winter. You need to make sure that if you have an outdoor cat, there is a place that they can be shielded from the weather. It can be a small dog house or a utility shed, but they should not be left without a warm place out of the elements. Many cats are killed each year because they seek warmth on the tire of a car or in the engine area where it is warm. That is why if you park outside, it is so important to give a short honk of your horn before you start the engine.
Bentley Basset and Pierre Westie tasting the snow
   Before winter is over, you will surely read about dogs that were left chained in the yard where they died of hypothermia. In a perfect world, there would be no pets allowed to suffer in the extreme cold. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Many people still consider their pets “just dogs” or believe that because they have fur, they are somehow exempt from feeling the cold. While I strongly disagree with both of these mindsets, I certainly don’t fool myself into believing that I can change their minds. You know the saying, “You can’t fix stupid!” #StupidIsAsStupidDoes
   Here in the south, we usually don’t get the extreme temperatures that our neighbors to the north experience. That means that many pets in our part of the U.S. are left outside all of the time. That being said, if we experience temperatures in the teens, our dogs and cats are no more used to it than we are. I am hoping that everyone will take their pet’s comfort and safety into consideration as we face the winter months ahead.
Bentley Basset Hound and Pierre Westie close-up in the snow
   I will be the first to admit to being a cold weather wimp. We had considered moving to Colorado and enjoying life in the mountains when we retired. Then I realized I’d probably spend the winter months curled up in a fetal position crying about the sub-zero temperatures! Bentley and Pierre aren’t big fans of the cold either. They both received jackets for Christmas so that we can continue to go on our walks. Normally, I can stay burrowed in my nice warm home until spring. The boys usually go outside to take care of their business and hurry back inside if the temps drop below freezing. Not this year! We are going to bravely get out there and get our exercise. It will do all of us some good and I know that we will be proud after we are done.


   How about you? Do you love to frolic in the snow and ice? Let me know in the comments and feel free to share any tips that you use for keeping warm.
This is Thoughtless Thursday’s blog hop with Ruckus  the EskieLove is being owned by a Husky, and me! No fancy rules and no need to think…just link!


38 comments :

  1. Great post! I have always loved winter and the snow, although snuggling up on really cold days is such a pleasure! I have northern breed dogs, Siberian Huskies, and even though they are bred for the cold, I take precautions with treating their paws with a protective coating, have beds out on the deck for when they are outside, and they are brought inside periodically throughout the day, and all night. My Gibson loved to feel the snow fall on him! Water dish gets checked many times to be sure it is not frozen. If it's extreme cold, which it can get here in upstate NY, they are out for monitored shot period of times for potty runs and exercise, and then brought back in where they snooze in their favorite spots (sofa included!) although, if they had their way, they would love to be out all day in the cold (with the exception of Chloe, she is a "tropical" Husky and prefers warmth to cold)!

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  2. Great post!! Omgosh, BabyBelle Pug has been so funny with cold weather. She LOVES my heating blanket! I got it for Christmas and literally, she steals it to snuggle under. Might be the cutest thing ever.

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  3. I used to like da cold a lot, but since I's gotten to be "older," I are not such a fan. I really always hated ice though, dat are da worst!!

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  4. A very timely reminder as the forecast here suggests that winter might actually arrive next week. Well, it'll make a change from all this rain!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  5. I am surprised to see so many pictures with SNOW! You do live in Louisiana...right?? The biggest challenge I have with the girls right now is that their paws freeze! I do have PAWZ boots, but they are not happy when I put them on. If they are just running out to do their business and coming right back in, then I don't put the PAWZ on. We live in a very rural area so we can just slip out the back door and they can come right back in. Since they are now 10 and 11 years old, they both do wear their coats most of the time when it is chilly out. When it drops below zero...they wear PAWZ whether they like it or not! Chloe will be 12 in a couple weeks and this is the first year that she is not putting up a fuss about wearing her coat when she goes out! LadyBug, on the other hand, would be quite happy modeling all of her clothes for the world to see!! It makes me SO MAD to see people leaving their dogs outside when it is so cold ... without any shelter at all!! GRRRRRR!!

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    1. Haha! Yes, we are in Louisiana so that is from our one-day "blizzard" last year. Since snow is so rare here when it does happen we take a lot of photos! ☺

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  6. We are WAY down south so we never get such drastic cold temps but that doesn't mean we don't take precautions when it does get, what we consider, cold. If it goes down to the 40s, I wear a light sweatshirt because as a senior dog, I tend to get colder much more quickly.

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  7. I do love the change of seasons here in Canada, and the first snow fall is always pretty, but Miss Edie and I are not much for the cold. When we go out for our walks, or even just a quick trip to the garden for Edie's potty break, I alway make sure she is wearing protective clothing and footwear to protect her from salt that is put down on sidewalks.

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  8. Here in Florida if it drops below 60, my teenie weenie body starts shivering! So I can understand the suffering that animals endure when left outside in the northern areas. BRRRRRR!

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  9. Reilly was always a cold loving dog - I would have to all but drag him inside if is snowed.

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  10. I also don't do the cold! Shiner also hates cold weather, but our old Sheltie used to love it. Probably from the all the fur she had. I had a horrible experience with the cat in the engine thing once... we had a feral that lived on our property, and while in middle school one morning she got seriously injured. She was totally wild and we were not able to capture her, but she managed to pull out just fine and lived for several years afterwards. Still, it would have been nice if it had never happened!

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  11. Great PSA post. It has been bbbbbrrrrrrrr cold here the past week - a far cry from the record setting 70 degrees we got for Christmas!

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  12. Thank you for the great and important reminder! It's unfortunate that some people still believe that a cat or dog's fur is enough to keep them warm in the cold. I feel horrible for all the pets and homeless cats and dogs who are outside in the extreme cold.

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  13. I like the idea of a quick honk to alert any would be under the car inhabiters. We have raccoons in our neighborhood and I've seen those fur balls waddle out from under cars as well as cats. Great advice!

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  14. Great post! I am constantly checking the goldens paw pads this time of year. Although it hasn't been terribly cold yet this year we are always very cautious!

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  15. We keep our snow in the mountains where snow belongs and we haven't had it here since 1960. But we are getting much needed rain that keeps us under the patio roof or inside. We are doing a lot of nosework to get exercise.

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  16. We are finally dipping below zero this weekend and are looking forward to it! The bitter cold energizes us, but of course, we aren't out all that long in those temperatures. It is sad for those that are stuck outside, that would be awful!

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  17. We are not fans of the cold either. When it gets sub zero it is hard to stay out long enough to potty. Our Angel Greta had to wear boots cause she took so long to find the right place to go!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  18. Great post. It's hard for me to believe people intentionally make their pets live outside, especially when the temperatures dip. I hope this story is a reminder to everyone that we need to protect our fur kids in the cold weather.

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  19. Excellent advice - we've shared to our Twitter fans.

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  20. Cold here, with more snow tonight.

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  21. Mr. N wears layers when it gets really cold. I have to keep him moving or he starts shivering!

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  22. I am nearly always outside with my dogs no matter the weather, even though we have a fenced in back yard. It helps me make sure they don't get too cold, hot or wet! I hate seeing dogs who spend their entire life outside in the Northeast!

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  23. I need to remember the horn honk tip. I always worry about stray cats or other animals crawling up in the engine area!

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  24. Great reminders! I just realized an added advantage to my new remote start button for my car. I have to press the "lock" button first, which sounds the horn, before pressing the "start" button. Not only can I have a warm car, it's a warning for any cats.

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  25. When winter comes, we're so glad we're inside cats! Good advice!

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  26. ooo... So very important to honk the horn to make sure there are no feral cats hanging out around the engine

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  27. We live in NY and get out in ALL the weather. Not that it is easy getting up and running when it's 10!! Cocoa Bean has a jacket and we limit our time outside in the really cold but I don't know what I would do with this pup if I couldn't run with her!!

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  28. We are lucky to live in a temperate zone where it usually doesn't get below freezing or above 70 degrees....that being said, I still can't stand to see dogs outside all the time....

    Thanks for the great information!

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  29. We adore da snow - and we just did a great article on how little dogs dig snow, paw care in da cold and da like. And yet, it's so important to know the limits of your pup and to never, ever, ever, dare I say it again, ever leave your dog out in da cold unattended. Dis a super great post and I'm gonna tweet it out!

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  30. Great post! Henry loves playing in the snow but appreciates coming back in to the comfort of a cozy house. We unpacked the walking boots for the first time this week.

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  31. Pierre and Bentley seems like they love the snow! Happy has never seen snow before. Maybe one day we will have some snow fun too! :)

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  32. Chuleta and I are cold weather wimps, too! It breaks my heart to think of all of the homeless animals in the cold. SMH.

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  33. Very timely post! Unless you are a husky of course....

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  34. Do we like to play and frolic in the snow? YES! Snow is so much fun. For the huskies, for the kids, for me! I love getting right out there with them, go sledding down the hills etc...
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  35. Just keep moving is my best advice for staying warm! I am good until it gets down to 20 degrees or so (I don't love it but I'll still go out there), and the dogs are too. Sheba will want to just go lie outside no matter how cold it is, and we often have to make her come in! Luke and Cricket aren't quite that hard core. They want to go outside to play but if it's really cold they'd rather be inside in front of the woodstove!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  36. Great post! Here is WI it is 2 right now, way to cold for the dogs to be out for very long.

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