Winter storms don’t just affect you — they also affect your pets.
There are several things you can do to prepare your pets for winter. Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for more information on preparing your pets for an emergency.
Some pets are better suited than others for living outdoors. However, there is a common misconception that dogs will be “fine” if left outside. This is not true! All pets need adequate shelter from the elements and insulation against cold weather. Pets should not be left outside for long periods in freezing weather – like humans, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.
Certain breeds, such as Huskies and Samoyeds are better suited to very cold weather, but the majority of dogs and need your help and intervention. Indoor accommodations are best during extreme temperature drops, but if that is not possible, set up a suitable house in an area protected from wind, rain, and snow. Insulation, such as straw or blankets will help keep in body heat.
If your animal is prone to chewing, do not use blankets or material that can be ingested. Cedar shavings can be irritating to the skin, so use with caution depending on your pet’s hair coat.
Caution – do not use a heat lamp, space heater, or other device not approved for use with animals. This is a a burn hazard for your pet and a fire hazard. Pet supply vendors sell heated mats for pets to sleep on or to be placed under a dog house, but read and follow directions carefully before use. Fresh water is a must at all times! Pets are not able to get enough water from licking ice or eating snow. A heated dish is a wonderful tool for cold climates. The water stays cold, but doesn’t freeze. Caution needed for animals that may chew.