Baby, it’s cold outside: Protect your furbabies

Published 2:48 pm Thursday, January 8, 2015


It’s going to be bitterly cold tonight and over the next day or so, and it’s very important to make sure our cats and dogs are taken care of during this cold weather.

While they do have a fur coat, that’s not going to be enough by itself to keep them warm.

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Here are some ideas to help keep your furbabies safe:

1. If at all possible, bring your pets indoors. Even if they’re normally outdoor pets, extremely low temperatures can be deadly. Blankets or sheets on a floor will make them comfortable; if you have to keep them in one area, block it off with a baby gate so they can still hear and see you.

2. If you can’t bring them into the house, let them into another enclosed building, like a carport, garage or storage building. Add pine straw or hay to a crate, then put blankets, sheets or even old t-shirts or other clothing on top of that. Throw another blanket over the top of the crate to help hold in body heat.

3. If it’s not possible to bring your pets inside at all, add extra bedding in and around their house; thermal blankets stapled to the insides of a dog house will help retain their body heat; add pine straw or hay for insulation and top off with old blankets or sheets. Add a covering over the door to keep winds from blowing in on them, and remember to raise the house off the ground using bricks or concrete blocks.

Add another layer of straw or hay underneath the house. Stack bales of hay or straw around the outside of the house, then put a tarp or blanket across the top to add another layer of insulation.

4. For cats who want to be out and about – especially those who don’t want to be handled – you can use a styrofoam cooler to make them a warm shelter.

Glue the lid onto the cooler, turn it upside down and cut an opening in one end, just large enough for a cat to enter. Cover it with a tarp or blanket, fill it with straw or hay, and put it in a sheltered location, out of the wind. Fasten it down so the wind won’t move it, and cats can come and go as they wish.

Remember to make sure your pets have access to plenty of clean water too – even during cold weather, they have to be hydrated, just like we do.

Again, indoors is best, but do everything you can to make sure your pets are safe. They’re counting on you to take care of them!