Keeping pets safe in cold weather
Louisiana — Staying warm isn't a problem for the lucky cats who reside at The Cat Doctor in Shreveport, but not all pets are as lucky.
Arklatex vet Dr. Ashley Buffington recommends that all pets be brought indoors when the temperature gets around 30 degrees, but knows that for some, that isn't an option.
While she prefers that pets come inside in cold weather, if they must stay outside, she advises that they stay in a draft free area like a garage or carport.
If pets do have to stay in a garage or something like that, there are heating devices to help them stay warm. One is a heating pad made specifically for pets. They don't get about 102 degrees, so you don't have to worry about burning a pet like a heating pad made for humans could.
But for pets that like to chew, Dr. Buffington advises a Snuggle Safe instead. They are practically indestructible even when gnawed on non-stop. Those just get put in the microwave and then they stay warm for about 8-9 hours. But make sure the cover is put on it, or it could be too hot for furry family members.
Water is also important, and heaters are made to keep water warm and not frozen. If a cold pet drinks cold water, it can lower her internal temp, making her more susceptible to hypothermia.
And if that sets in, it can be deadly. Dr. Buffington begs pet guardians to wrap the pet in warm towels and rush them to an emergency room. Every second can count when it comes to saving a pet's life.