How cold is too cold for pets?

How cold is too cold for pets?

Even though many of our four-legged friends have thick coats of fur, they aren’t immune to frigid temperatures.

"If your dog is used to – and I think a lot of ours are – being inside and spending time inside, they're not acclimated to the outdoors," said Melissa O’Brien a veterinarian at Capitol Illini Veterinary Services in Chatham.

So how cold is too cold for your dog or cat?

"When it's getting down into the teens and you've got wind chills that are in the single digits, bring them inside,” O’Brien said. “Even if it's just in a garage, they're going to have better insulation."

For our four-legged friends that prefer staying out, make sure their dog houses are well insulated.

"A good, sturdy structure," O'Brien said. "A good wooden doghouse that has some insulation in it. Those little kinds of igloo plastic houses, they just don't have the durability to stand up, especially against the strong winds that we're seeing now."

Make sure it’s packed with straw or some sort of bedding.

"A lot of times you'll see those dogs pack that into the front of the house to basically close it off from any of those cold winds blowing in," O'Brien said.

If your dog or cat comes inside and is acting lethargic and not really wanting to move, it may be time to take them to the vet.

The most common winter-weather related injury O’Brien sees is pets slipping on ice.

If your dog is older, O’Brien suggested going outside with them to help keep them from falling.

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