BOZEMAN - With colder temperatures in the forecast, some might be wondering how to protect our four-legged friends from these harsh conditions.
“If it’s really too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dog to be outside and certainly for your cat,” said Jennifer Shinn of Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter. “So in the winter, it’s always advisable to just keep cats indoors.”
If you do decide to bring your pets outdoors while it’s cold outside, here are a few tips on what you need to prepare for.
“For short hair dogs, coat or sweater is useful because they just don’t have the warmth from their own coat,” said Shinn. There are many types of coats and sweaters for dogs, so picking out the right one is crucial for your dog’s size.
Kris Clawson, general manager for Bridger Animal Nutrition, offered advice for what to do when temps hit zero degrees. “Number one, don’t be outside too long. But a coat like this would be sufficient,” Clawson said.
There are also other ways to keep your pets safe from the cold, "to protect your dog’s feet, you can use booties, and you can also use petroleum jelly or sprays that prevent ice from building up in between their toes,” Shinn said.
“The other important thing is increasing your dogs’ and cats’ food intake in the winter because they are burning more calories if they are spending more time outside,” she added. “Make sure when they’re indoors they have a place where they can dry off and warm up, like a heated bed.”
One dog owner tells us the importance of preparing the dogs for the colder climates.
“Naturally being high energy it’s good to keep the dogs active in colder climates and it’s important to have them prepared for the elements,” said dog owner Joe Mastro.