Protect Your Dogs During Cold Weather


With the current cold snap pushing in on the Midwest and Eastern United States it is very important that you watch your Dogs and other pets very closely so that they don’t become sick from overexposure to the elements. 

Cold weather can be just as hard on pets as is it on people. Sometimes pet owners forget that indoor pets are just as acclimated to the indoors as they are. Some owners leave their pets outside for extended periods of time thinking that all animals can adapt to the outdoors because they have a natural fir coat. This kind of thinking can put their pets in extreme danger of serious illness and even death.

It’s true that some pets can remain outside longer in the winter time than others can. But this is NOT true for all pets! Use your common sense: long-haired breeds like Huskies and German Shepherds will do better in cold weather than short-haired breeds like Dachshunds and Dalmatians. Small dogs that have to wade through the deep snow will feel the cold sooner than larger animals.

Your pet’s overall health will also affect how long it can stay out. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise your pet’s ability to regulate body heat. If your pet is not generally in good health, it should not be exposed to long periods of winter weather. Only allow them to be out long enough to do their “business” and bring them back inside. Very young and very old pets are susceptible to illness during the cold months as well.

An average sized dog in normal health can feel the effects of the cold weather in as little as 10 minutes. When there are severe weather conditions that time can be easily cut in half. Frostbite can occur on a dog’s paws and noise in just a few minutes when wind chills reach below -10 degrees.


Patchs is Ready for the Cold Weather

A good rule of thumb is: if you are cold outside, so is your pet.


Summer is Over – Fall is Here

WOW, One day it’s 95 degrees and it’s so humid you cant walk to the mailbox without needing a shower, the next it’s in the low 50’s and you need long pants and a jacket. I guess it’s true, fall is here!

The change of seasons is a big part of life in the Midwest. For me, the changing seasons always make me pause to remember what has passed, and what is yet to come. It’s a time to recover as well as prepare for what needs to be done in the near future.

I think one of the reasons I’ve lived in Iowa all my life is because of the changing seasons. I love the first smells of spring, warm summer days sitting under a shade tree, and the sound of crunching leaves under my feet as I walk my dog under the crisp Autumn sky. And yes, I even like that first snowfall of the winter. (after that, not so much).

I truly charish these times.

The changing seasons also offer us an excuse to get together with friends and family. From holiday gatherings to BBQ’s to community celebrations, it’s always fun to hang out and have fun.

I also hold dear the times I spend with my four footed friends. I love to watch them run through the piles of leaves in the Fall, run through new fallen snow in the Winter, and play in the creek behind our house on a hot Summers day. These times give me so much joy and pleasure. And they help me keep my life in the proper perspective.

As Fall arrives now, it begins the harvest season around here. Farmers are bring in their crops and finally finding out how well their efforts have paid off. For us city folk, it’s time to put the lawn chairs and mowers away, rake the leaves and get the snow blowers ready.

One of my favorite memories is of my two dogs (Neka & Patchs) playing in our backyard. They got along so well and though they were only together for 2 years, they were like litter mates. They understood each other perfectly and they got along with each other better than I could have ever hoped. In fact, if they could talk, they would have finished each other’s thoughts and sentencies.

Neka left us this spring after a very short illness at the age of six. Although there have been a few rough days here and there we are now doing our best to move on. She was a wonderful friend and a great companion to me, and a protective big sister and playmate to Patchs. She is always on my mind and in my heart!

As this new chapter in life continues to be written, we will continue to make new memories. And the changing seasons will act as bookmarks for them.