Animal Answers: Concern With Cold Weather

Dangerous Cold Temperatures Can Cause Extreme Harm to Animal's Bodies

DULUTH, Minn. – Many of you have pups at home just waiting for the dog days of summer to return to the Northland.

During extreme cold snaps, it can be hard to remember how brutal below temperatures are on our pets.

“Obviously your dogs are going to need to go,” said Adeline Green with Animal Allies in Duluth.

Winter weather isn’t stopping canines from checking out the cold.

“It’s really important to make sure you keep your pets safe, obviously in any weather,” said Green.

Cold weather, creating worries for pets that might not have their forever home.

Our animals can also get frostbite, especially on ears, feet, and other extremities.

“In the kind of cold we’ve been getting lately, it’s really important to remember that you’re outside and you’re cold with all of your layers on,” said Green.

Jackets, boots, and mittens, all keeping us humans blanketed with heat.

“Dogs are outside without any of that and so that’s how much colder they are. Imagine if you were outside walking barefoot, that’s how it would feel for them,” said Green.

Aside from big dogs like huskies and malamutes, most breeds cannot handle being left outside in temps below freezing for more than a few minutes without causing damage to their bodies.

“So when you see your dog start picking up their feet while you’re walking, that’s when you really know that they are starting to get cold.”

Experts say motions such as barking, shivering, and weak pulse are cause for immediate concern.

Green says, “Make sure that you’re really watching them, monitoring them. We’ve seen that at the shelter, sometimes animals come in who have been exposed, and who have even had to have parts of their ears come off.”

The cold weather we experience in the Northland could lead you to committing a crime. In all 50 states, animal neglect is considered a misdemeanor.

“Micro-chipping is a really easy thing. It’s just a little chip about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted between a dog’s shoulder blades,” said Green.

Simple devices, helping you keep track of those animals if they happen to get lost.

“If they showed up at any vet clinic or humane society, they would just be scanned for the microchip, the number would come up, and then it would be registered to your information so you would be contacted.”

For those of you looking to warm up your pets at home or in case of emergency in the future, experts say to slowly warm them up in a blanket. Too much heat, too fast, can cause shock to the body.