If you see a pet left out in the cold, speak out

One of the most common forms of animal cruelty, cases of animals left outside in dangerous weather, are investigated more by police and animal control agencies than any other form of animal abuse.

Our most constant companions – dogs and cats – feel the effects of winter weather as much as we do, only they are often cast outside to weather the cold or a storm owing to a misconception that the fur on their backs will insulate them from suffering.

Without proper shelter, food and water one can pose serious health risks to your pet.

Remember wind chill significantly increases chances of frostbite and hypothermia and increased arthritis pain.

You may be asking what temperature is too cold to leave a dog outside? Several factors impact this answer. Each dog is different, but as a general rule of thumb, most healthy dogs should be able to handle anything at or above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Some dogs such as an Alaskan Malamute can handle temperatures of 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Other dogs like Italian Greyhounds might be shivering at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unless it’s approaching single-digit temperature, it’s ok to take your dog outside real quick to go potty. The issue is when you keep them out for an extended amount of time. If you leave your dog out in extremely frigid temperatures, you’re putting the health of your pet at risk. Here are some potential health risks that come along with keeping a dog outside in cold weather.

Signs of Discomofort:

Shivering, trying to hide crying/whining, staying still (indicates paws are too cold, or they have ice stuck between the pads of their toes.)

It’s important to go outside with them so you can carefully watch for all these signs Never experiment by letting you dog out for a few minutes and them coming back later to check on them.

Create a good environment for your pet to stay healthy and happy.

Cindy Atkins

Hillsboro

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