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Old Man Winter and Your Pets | Pets

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Old Man Winter and Your Pets
Old Man Winter and Your Pets

Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head and many people are trying to find the delicate balance between staying warm and keeping heating costs down. It's easy for people to put on a jacket or bump up the thermostat, but many pets don’t have the same luxury.

PLEASE bring your pets in. Even the basement or garage is better than being left outside.

If you insist on keeping your pet outside, please continually check your pet for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.


Frostbite most frequently affects ears, toes, tails, scrotum and areas least covered by fur.

Signs of frostbite include red or swollen areas or skin that is very pale and white.

To treat frostbite, immerse the area in warm water, not hot, for 15-20 minutes and call your veterinarian.


Hypothermia occurs when a pet has been exposed to very cold temperatures and/or winds for an extended period of time.

Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, low body temperature, stumbling, drowsiness and exhaustion.

To treat hypothermia, the pet’s body temperature must be raised. Surround the pet in hot water bottles and warm towels or immerse in room-temperature water and slowly add warmer water. Try to get the animal to drink warm liquids and, of course, call your veterinarian.

Laura Stauffiger is the proprietor of Laura’s Critter Care, an in your home pet sitting and dog walking service in Amherst, and a member of Pet Sitters International and PetSitUSA. She also has her own small dog rescue group called Laura’s Critter Care Dog Rescue.  For more information visit her website or send an Email.


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