Jan 06 2014

How Cold is Too Cold?

Well, it will be cold tonight, and as much everyone in the South panics (milk and bread) about the cold, I to think there are some serious concerns about dogs who are left outside when it is too cold.  When it gets cold outside, telling all of your friends to bring their pets inside is like preaching to the choir, so-to-speak.  They are your friends, so you have probably already convinced them to bring their pets in and take care of them, or else they wouldn’t be your friends now.  The question is:  when do you consider reporting (or at least having a serious talk with) a stranger because of their negligence when it gets cold?

There are also problems with the “If you’re cold, they are cold” mantra.  Whether it is because I like numbers or because there is a difference between individuals, I don’t think the saying always holds up.  It is hard to convince someone who doesn’t feel that it is cold outside they either need to bring their dog inside or you will be calling animal control with concerns of neglect.  Plus, you can be playing outside for an hour and claim to be warm, but taking a four hour nap outside in the same temperatures will redefine your idea of cold.

Additionally, you need to take into account the size of the dog, the amount of good quality shelter, or the breed of the dog.  Nordic breeds (like Huskies) with adequate shelter are a lot more protected than a small, short haired Chihuahua without a doghouse.

If you are looking for something more or a handy chart to tell you when it is time to worry about the well-being of your neighbors dog, then I have the chart for you!  You will have to scroll down past the body condition scoring to find the chart, and its actually not as complicated as it looks.  There is also other really good information on the chart that can help you assess other health conditions.

http://www.animalsheltering.org/resources/magazine/jul_aug_1998/tufts-animal-condition-body.pdf

I hope this information helps in the future

– Doc Cleland

muller01 | College Park Vet Blog

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