With high temperatures in the teens and wind chill levels well below zero, Iowa pet owners are being reminded to take extra precautions with their animals in the brutal weather. Pam Weise, spokeswoman for the Humane Society, says dogs that usually live outdoors may be in serious danger.
Weise says "The law states that you need to provide food, water and shelter. Sometimes sheltering isn’t adequate and so we like to make sure those animals are protected from both the wind and the wet and the cold." Weise says even if your animal is only out for a walk, tender areas should not be exposed for long periods of time when it gets this cold, especially small dogs
She says the animals will get very cold, very quickly, including the tips of their ears, their feet and they can get frostbite just like people. While they may look a little goofy, Weise suggests putting one of those little full-body sweaters on your pooch to protect the hound from the bitter cold. As for cats, she says if they’re left outdoors for long, their health could be threatened.
Weise says cats can be very susceptible to the cold as their ears can freeze, their foot pads can get cut up on ice. They’re somewhat better than dogs at finding places to hole up from the wind, but she says finding their way back home can really tax them. Outdoor animal shelters, like dog houses and rabbit hutches, need to be equipped with adequate bedding and a door flap to keep the cold out and the heat in.