Ruff! It’s Cold Out There!

By Edward Christian Frugalidad

Winter has begun!

Snow has began to fall in most Northern States. In NYC where we are based we have been getting a mixture of snow, rain, and then out of nowhere—sun! It’s so difficult to know how to properly prepare for the day—not only for myself but also my children, and I cannot forget my pets! I have learned so much since moving my pets from the warmer climates of California! It’s been a huge adjustment for us all!

Outside gear is crucial!

In these excruciating temperatures our pets need protective clothing as much as we do! Especially pets like mine who have very short fur, which makes it difficult to keep them warm. I have found tons of sweaters even ones I could customize and pair with little booties to keep their paws warm and dry from ice, snow, and salt.

Indoor time is best!

When it is below freezing temperatures, exposure of your pet’s toes, nose and ears in the varying frosty-temperature make them vulnerable to infections, frostbite and even hypothermia. If your pet is like mine though—it loves the outdoors so keeping them inside is easier said than done! If you do have to venture outside though and yo haven’t gotten them booties remember to remove that snow from their paws and dry them off nicely to prevent not only colds but examine them for cracks and/or injuries that could cause further damage.

I have read that there is really no need to worry if the weather is not lower than 45°F— as it was for me in California!–but the issue comes with temperatures under 20°F, even for some breeds that are more adept to colder climates. Some even sleep outside in these temperatures, which is fine if adequate shelter is provided.

Thick sleeping pads and blankets are a must! The shelter should aslo be higher than them when they are seated and its interior should have at least 3 square feet of floor space for your pet’s height. Oh, and the shelter’s entrance? It should be strategically elevated and protected from the scolding wind with an “off-center” opening so that your pet can comfortably curl in corners to prevent precipitation, breeze, moisture and/or dampness.

Signs your Pet needs to get Indoors!

With these preparations its also important to be mindful of changes to your pet such as continued weakness, stiffness, shallow breathing, lack of mental alertness, fixed and dilated pupils, idleness, and loss of appetite. I found that it was helpful for me to install a pooch door, so they can go outside or inside quickly. Also if your pet is outside, take frequent indoor breaks to warm-up and rehydrate. When your pet shakes, whines, anxious, lifts paw off-ground, shivers or immobile, you need to take them indoors immediately!

The American Veterinary Association recommends that “pets should receive annual assessment before exposing them to freezing weather. It will better prepare your pet’s healthy conditions against diabetes, heart disease, hormonal conditions, kidney issues and other illnesses making them more tolerant to cold icy environment,”

How are you keeping yourself and your pets warm during these temperatures?