AS I SEE IT
By Neal A. Shipman
With winter finally arriving in western North Dakota and the region getting its first blast of sub-zero windchills, it’s time to remember that we all need to dress appropriately when we’re outside. But the cold temperatures associated with winter can also be hard on livestock, wildlife, as well as the family pets or stray animals that have been left outdoors for extended periods of time.
While it may be possible for humans to bundle up enough to keep warm when temperatures drop into the minus 40s, livestock and wildlife are pretty much left on their own to weather out the cold temperatures.
But when it comes to taking care of your pets, animal experts say that there are plenty of steps that we, as owners, can follow to make sure our animals don’t suffer needlessly when they are outdoors in freezing temperatures.
Top Winter Weather Tips For Pets
1. Know your dog’s limits. Some dogs are more susceptible to the cold than others. Short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dogs get cold more quickly so adjust the amount of time they stay outside! Hypothermia and frostbite pose major risks to dogs in winter, so remember, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your dog.
2. Check under the hood of your vehicle. Cats often sleep in the wheel wells of cars during the winter months to keep warm. If you start your car and a cat is sleeping on your tire, it can be severely hurt or even killed by moving engine parts. Prevent injuries by banging loudly on your hood or honking the horn before starting your car. This will wake up the cat and give it a chance to escape before starting the car.