How cold is too cold for your dog? This graphic is a helpful reference

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We all know it can be harmful to keep pets outside in the frigid weather currently settled over Central Pennsylvania.

But how cold is too cold for your dog?

Petplan, a pet insurance company, released an infographic for dog owners concerned about their pet’s safety to reference.

When temperatures dip, Petplan also urges pet parents to keep these winter hazards in mind:

  • ICE: Ensure a safe walkway, paying extra close attention to stairs, so slips don’t turn into injuries. Never let pets play on frozen lakes or ponds.
  • DE-ICERS – Use a pet-friendly de-icer on walkways to protect pets’ feet from caustic agents. Be sure to give paws a good wipe once pets are back inside.
  • SNOW – When snow covers scents and visual landmarks, off-leash pets have a hard time finding their way back home. Avoid off-leash play until the bulk of the snow has melted.
  • LOW HUMIDITY/FORCED HEAT – Winter brings out the worst in pets prone to dry skin. Use moisturizing leave-in conditioners and ask your vet about adding omega-3 fatty acids at mealtime.
  • HYPOTHERMIA – Sometimes it’s simply too cold for pets to be outside, regardless of their breed. Proper insulated shelter is a must for outside pets and they should always be brought inside during extreme cold.
  • FROSTBITE – To compensate for a drop in temperature, our pets’ bodies redirect blood to circulate around vital organs to protect them, which leaves their ears, tail, nose, genitals, feet and legs susceptible to damage. Frostbite is a serious condition; in severe cases where a large amount of tissue has died, it may be necessary to amputate the affected area.
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