Don't forget about our beloved furry friends in times of extreme cold weather.  Despite having fur, they can be affected by the cold just as quickly as we can.  Here are some great tips from the ASPCA:

  • DO NOT leave them outside.  Even if they are normally outdoor pets, bring them inside.  They will freeze to death in this cold.  If you see an animal stuck outside, call the authorities immediately.
  • When walking your dog, keep them on a leash to prevent the dog from running away or getting lost.  Scents are lost in the cold (and especially with snow on the ground) so dogs can easily lose their way.
  • Keep pet beds off the floor or away from doors and windows where cold air can settle or cold drafts can exist.  Provide a warm blanket or pillow to keep them warm.
  • This should go without saying, but do not leave your pet in a vehicle during the extreme cold.  Cold air can get trapped in a car like a freezer.
  • Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite:
    • Hypothermia: dogs and cats shiver just like we do, and they may appear very lethargic or not seem interested in food.
    • Frostbite: ears and paws are most prone to frostbite.  The tips of the ears may become red or hard indicating early signs of frostbite.  Paws will also become increasingly red, and they may lick them indicating numbness, pain, or sensitivity.
  • A good rule of thumb: If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet.


  1. Multiple dogs freeze to death in Marion County, Indiana
  2. Winter Pet Care (AAHA)
  3. Cold Weather Tips To Keep Your Pets In Good Health (NPR)
  4. Cold Weather Pet Safety (AVMA)

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