Click here to learn more.
I was born and raised in Idaho, I live there still, and I know cold. I grew up a dairyman’s son on a classic American farm, and there’s nothing a farmer knows like the weather because there’s no day a farmer isn’t out in it.
As a veteran veterinarian (more than 30 years in practice), I also know the toll winter’s worst can take on our pets, especially the old or the chronically ill. As winter’s worst does its best to make us all miserable, it’s essential to be sure our animals are as warm and safe as they possibly can be. That starts, of course, by working with your veterinarian to make sure your pets are in good health, because a body that's working well is better able to stand the strain of extreme weather.
After that, it’s up to you to protect them. Here are some tips on exactly how to do that.
The best place for pets to live is indoors, as part of your family. When I was growing up, our farm dog never came in the house until I begged my dad to let him come in during a blizzard. At that point, our dog became part of the Great Migration, from the barnyard to the backyard to the kitchen to the bedroom to the bed. While the farm dogs of my childhood always had a warm, well-insulated place to live, it’s no surprise that now my dogs share my bed like so many others do, probably yours. For dogs and cats both, the best way to keep them warm and safe is to keep them inside.
Of course, I do realize that some people don’t keep their pets indoors, and if that’s your situation you need to make sure your pet has shelter that not only protects him from the elements but is also well insulated and small enough to help him retain his body heat. Even better: Get a pet-safe heating element made for use outside, and always put a blanket or towel between the element and your dog to reduce the chance of skin burns. You’ll need one for the water dish too, because pets always need access to fresh water.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
For the next four days, patrons of the café will be able to meet 16 adoptable kitties as they sip on espresso…
The last Friday in April is dedicated to undigested cat fur. To celebrate, we found photos of the cutest kitties…
A new film features 11-year-old Cory Gould, who has Asperger syndrome, and his incredible knowledge of dog breeds.
Disco, who knows more than 80 phrases, songs and sounds, is a YouTube star who's beloved around the world.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals to see if they drift off to sleep with their cat or dog…
Want to make some enemies in your vet’s waiting room? This funny new video from Dr. Andy Roark shows you how.
The silky-coated Burmese is a compact but heavy feline who loves to show off his impressive athletic skills.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.