If you have a dog that spends most of its time romping in your backyard, or a kitty that whiles away the day in a sunny patch on the front porch, winter’s arrival may be a rude awakening. Yes, your pets are covered in fur, but many just are not equipped to be out in extreme cold for long periods.
So how can you make sure your four-legged friends are warm and well-cared for when the temperature drops?
Keeping Warm: Fur Isn’t Flawless
Fur is not a perfect insulator, especially when it’s very cold. “Mammalian systems for heat retention and regulation can be overwhelmed by excessive cold.”
And here a useful hint: if an animal’s coat gets wet, the fur loses much of its insulating ability. For cats and dogs with short fur, the protection is even more minimal. Your pet’s toes, nose, and ears are even more vulnerable to chilly temps.
That’s why, in winter, your pets need protection from extreme temperatures, which includes warm, dry, draft-free shelter; plenty of food; and lots of water. And remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet.