We just posted a warning at www.idahostatesman.com about cold weather and pets. There are lots of good tips.
It was in the single digits last night. It was 8 degrees at my place.
Here are some things I do to protect my hunting dogs:
- Make sure you are feeding them quality dog food that provides the energy and nutrition needed for cold weather.
- Watch your dog constantly in cold weather. A dog can get hypothermic being wet in cold and wind. Shivering is OK, but if your dog shivers incessantly and starts acting unresponsive, hypothermia could be setting in.
- Make sure your dogs have a constant supply of water inside and outside. I have a heated water dish outside. It's the one of the best investments I've ever made.
- Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick to metal.
- Make sure your dog’s house is protected from the wind and is dry and draft-free. It should be large enough so the dog can sit or lie down but small enough to hold the dog’s body heat. Straw is an excellent insulating material for a dog house, but you also can get insulated pads.
- The floor of the dog house should never be directly on concrete. It should be raised a few inches off the ground. Some dog owners have heated dog houses.
- The doorway of the house should be covered with a waterproof flap.
- In harsh weather, like we are experiencing now, let your dogs stay inside the house or garage during the day and at night.
- If your dog is staying in the garage at night, make sure it has enough insulation from the concrete floor. Put down several pads.
- It’s a good idea to hang a thermometer in the garage to make sure it’s not getting too cold. It's best if it is 40 degrees or higher.
Hey, be kind to your best friend.