You've likely seen on social media or been told thousands of times that when it's this cold outside, it's important to bring your animals inside. Whether they are an outside animal or live in the house, your pet should be brought in when we have temperatures like we do in Iowa today. You've heard the saying that "if it's too cold for you to be outside, it's too cold for them."

At 5:15 this morning, my phone said it was -16 degrees and the wind chill factor made it feel like it was -31. Unless you have a Siberian Husky that's been acclimated to living outside in freezing temperatures, that's basically too cold for 98% of dogs.

According to CBS News, people may forget or not know that dogs are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Just how fast can frostbite set in for our four legged friends? Pretty dang quick.

Unsplash - Stephanie Cantu
Unsplash - Stephanie Cantu

Frostbite for Dogs

The Central Nebraska Humane Society posted this graphic on their Facebook page recently and it's the perfect reminder to not only bring your pets inside, but it showcases just how fast a dog can suffer from frostbite if left outside. Obviously the colder the weather and the stronger the wind chill, the faster frostbite sets in.

If your dog was outside at 5 a.m., when my phone said the windchill made it feel like -31 degrees, it would only take 10 minutes before you'd have to start worrying about frostbite.

The Central Nebraska Humane Society also mentions that there are dogs that love cold temperatures. It's important to remember that the temperatures in Iowa over the next week aren't just cold. They are dangerous.

According to Marshfield Animal Hospital, most owners don't have to worry about the temperature until it drops below 45 degrees. Depending on the type of dog, 45 degrees could be uncomfortable for some. For the rest of dog owners

When temperatures fall below 32° F, owners of small breed dogs, dogs with thin coats, and/or very young, old or sick dogs should pay close attention to their pet’s well-being. Once temperatures drop under 20° F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite.

Remember that your dog didn't come into this world and choose you. You chose to bring your dog into your life. It's your job to protect them and keep them warm during this upcoming week. Leaving them outside is irresponsible.

Keep your pets safe this winter!

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