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Animal experts offer advice on protecting pets in the cold weather



Dog asleep on blanket
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The temperature outside is dropping, and the colder it gets, the more dangerous it is for outside pets.

Animal experts have weighed in to help protect and possiby save the lives of dogs and cats who may not have immediate access to the indoors.

Adequate housing and outdoor bedding is paramount to keeping your pet warm and dry. If you have outdoor pets, bring them inside, if any way possible.  If that is not an option, make sure they have a solid, dry, draft-free shelter.

  • Doghouses should be large enough for dogs to sit and lie down in, but small enough to retain their body heat in the cold weather.
  • It is best if doghouses are elevated a few inches off the ground and are filled with dry straw for bedding. Blankets get wet and cold, so are not recommended for bedding.
  • The doghouse entrance should face away from northern winds. For extra protection, cover the entrance with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.
  • Pay extra attention to senior pets and young pets. They are most susceptible to being affected by the cold weather.
  • Feral, outdoor and community cats also need shelter from cold, wind and rain.

Tips and ideas on what to purchase or use for cat shelters can be found on the Alley Cat Allies website.

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