As temperatures begin to drop this winter, remember that your pets depend on you to keep them safe. Although conditions can vary for pets depending on size, length of coat and breed, they may begin to feel uncomfortable once temperatures get below 45°F. Once temperatures drop under 20°F, pets could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite, both of which require immediate veterinary care. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet.
Safety and Prevention: Never keep a pet exclusively outdoors in inclement weather, and avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. While it’s best to keep your dog indoors during winter, if he does spend some time outdoors:
— Always make sure doghouses are well-insulated and not drafty. Consider using straw or hay as lining, as a wet blanket can freeze.
— Keep your dog hydrated. Pets are just as likely to get dehydrated in winter as in the summer so remember to provide plenty of fresh water, and never substitute snow for water.
— Older dogs with diseases such as arthritis or diabetes can be more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather and may benefit from a pair of boots to give their feet an extra layer of cushion and protection. Snow boots and sweaters/dog coats are recommended when animals are exposed to weather less than 30 degrees F for more than 20 minutes.
— If your dog looks cold, bring him/her inside.
What to do at Signs of Hypothermia or Frostbite:
— As quickly as possible, warm some blankets in a clothes dryer and wrap your dog in the blankets.
— Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and place it against your dog’s abdomen. Do not use it unwrapped, as this will burn the skin.
— If your dog is conscious, give him warmed fluids to drink.
— Check your dog’s temperature every 10 minutes: if it is below 98°F (36.7°C), get immediate veterinary attention.
— Once the temperature is above 99°F (37.2°C), you can remove the hot water bottle to avoid overheating. Continue to keep the dog in a warm room.
XOOM Energy, LLC teamed up with PetSmart Charities® to help end pet homelessness by creating the 5 Saves Lives campaign. As part of the 5 Saves Lives campaign, when a customer enrolls on the RescueLock 12 fixed rate plan, 5% of their monthly XOOM Energy charges will be donated to PetSmart Charities. To find out more about XOOM Energy’s RescueLock 12 product visit xoomenergy.com/petsmart-charities.