Conn. (WTNH) – As the state deals with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills that feel even colder, staying inside is a pretty easy decision to make. But the bitter cold can also be dangerous for pets.
Humans have the ability to communicate the signs of feeling cold. We shiver, we try to warm our hands, put gloves on, and dress appropriately, but unfortunately, our furry friends can’t communicate as effectively and sometimes that cold can lead to life-threatening harm.
“I think when he was found, it was the coldest day of the year so far,” said Laura Burban, Director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.
Lincoln is happy, warm, and with a loving family today, but almost a year ago, it was a very different story.
“Especially overnight, it gets wet, and he was almost frozen to the towel. He had frostbite on his feet, he had skin conditions, it was really bad,” Burban said.
Lincoln was abandoned out in the cold, but even dogs that are loved and cared for are at risk in weather like this.
“If you’re leaving an animal outside without any type of covering and there is no way for them to get into a warm and quiet place where it’s not wind blowing in their face, that animal can freeze especially if they’re not acclimated to it,” Burban said.
So, pay attention to things like shivering or a change in color in their gums. This may come as a surprise to some, but the jackets for your pets won’t keep them warm.
“Putting those other items will actually help them to get colder because it’s retaining moisture and not allowing that moisture to dissipate,” Burban said.
Don’t forget that it takes several months for indoor pets to acclimate to outdoor weather, so keep your indoor cats inside. It’s also important that not all dogs are created equal. Husky dogs will do much better out in the cold compared to a pit bull or a pug, so make sure to check in with your vet about the best ways to keep your furry friends safe this winter.