Rule of Thumb-If it's too cold for you outside, it's probably too cold for your pets.  Dogs and cats can usually do better than you outdoors, but freezing weather can still lead to frostbite and hypothermia in a matter of minutes.Believe it or not,  it's harder for pets to maintain their temperatures in the cold than in the heat. Even with the thicker coats on some dogs and cats it doesn't take long for our furry friends to respond negatively to the cold temps.

Some breeds do better in the cold than others, e.g. huskies and malamutes. But for those animals with lighter and shorter coats, it's harder for them to stay warm. Especially for older animals. When the temperature drops below freezing, most dogs and cats can only endure 10 or 15 minutes outdoors, even less time if it's windy.

What can you do to help?

1. Bring your outdoor pets inside when it drops below freezing, particularly overnight, or you can give them a blanket and heating pad or heat lamp to help combat the outdooer temps.

2. Give your pets extra food during the day. This will help with their calorie intake  thus helping them to produce more body heat when the temp drops.

3. Change out the water and make sure it doesn't freeze.

4. Before you start that vehicle that's been outside, knock on the hood. Cats are known to crawl up into the engine block area to try to stay warm. They may have crawled up there when you came home and they've stayed there all night.

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