Central Ohio is currently experiencing the coldest temperatures we've seen in a long time. Single digit highs, below zero lows, and the wind chills....brrr!!! While we stay huddled inside next to the heater or fire place, let's not forget our pets!
1) Keep potty trips and walks short. Please don't leave your pets outside for extended time periods when it's this cold. Most will go right out and do their business and come rushing back inside! Older pets cannot tolerate the cold as well as younger dogs. If your dog will allow it, try a sweater or coat. There are even little booties for dogs! Animals can also get frostbite, just like people.
2) For the dogs who prefer to live outdoors, or the stray cats you feed that have stolen your heart, be sure to provide adequate shelter. Shelter openings should face away from the wind and contain bedding of hay or shavings (blankets are more likely to become wet and hold the moisture, making for a cold bed). Check on these pets frequently. Outdoor pets may also need an increase in food as they're body is burning more calories in an effort to stay warm.
3) Outside water dishes will need checked several times a day. They'll likely need the ice chipped out of it and filled with fresh water.
4) As we use inside heat sources, such as space heaters and fire places, be sure to keep your pets away from these items. A curious pet who gets too close may get burned or knock something over and start a fire.
5) Cats living outdoors often seek refuge under the warm hoods of cars. Bang on your hood several times or honk your horn to scare cats out from under the hood of your car before starting it. Winter time is the most common time for cats to tangle with fan belts or burned when the engine starts.
Keep this things in mind as we trudge through Ohio's mysterious winter weather to keep you and your pets safe and warm!
Suburban Animal Clinic is located in