Cold Weather and Pets

 In Andes-Straley Services, Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital, Pet Care

As the holiday season rolls in so does cooler weather across the nation. We’re transitioning from our warmer temperatures into the chilly winter ones. The weather change not only affects us as humans but animals as well. Just as you care for yourself during winter, you should do the same for your pets. Here’s how to care for your pets when cold weather arrives.


Dogs are used to spending ample time outdoors running around when the weather is warm. Just like you have to be cautious if it’s too hot outside, you must do the same with the cold weather. Some breeds of dogs enjoy being outside when it’s cold, like huskies for example. Even though they enjoy the snow and cold weather, you should still be cautious of the time they’re spending outside. Animals like cats and other breeds of dogs might not like the cold weather as much.

An animal’s tolerance of the cold will differ from one to another. So don’t assume all dogs are the same when it comes to comfortability in the cold. PetMD states:

“In general, cold temperatures should not become a problem for most dogs until they fall below 45° F, at which point some cold-averse dogs might begin to feel uncomfortable. When temperatures fall below 32° F, owners of small breed dogs, dogs with thin coats, and/or very young, old, or sick dogs should pay close attention to their pet’s well-being. Once temperatures drop under 20° F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite.”

If possible, try to keep all your animals indoors during the freezing temperatures. If that is not possible, make sure your pets have a warm and comfortable place to rest. So often we see people not providing their pets with proper shelter during the winter which leads to horrible health conditions, and possibly even death. Do not do this to your animal. If you have to keep them outdoors follow these rules:

  • access to fresh drinking water (not frozen) and plenty of food
  • the floor of the shelter to be off the ground
  • dry and thick bedding that is changed regularly
  • dry blankets and pet winter coats
  • protection and away from the wind

Animals may have more tolerance for the cold weather than we do, but remember they would still prefer to be indoors with you. For more information on caring for your pets during colder months, visit Andes-Straley. At Andes, we provide a variety of services including health checkups which are just as important during winter. Visit us online here today.