Denver Animal Protection is laying out some new rules for how to keep your pets safe against the extreme temperatures we've been seeing this winter. In some cases, if you leave your pet outside for long periods of time during alarming conditions, you will face large fines and counts of animal cruelty.
Some general rules to follow include:
Make sure you never leave a very young or very old, or tiny short-haired dog out in the cold for too long unless they're wearing some type of jacket or sweater. If you leave food or water outside, make sure the dishes are plastic and not metal as dog and cat tongues can stick and freeze to it. After a walk, wipe your pet's feet, tail, and stomach so they don't accidentally ingest any chemicals from sidewalk salt. Make sure snowdrifts don't pile up next to your backyard fence because dogs can easily use that as a boost to escape.
It's also important to note any lifestyle changes. If the cold keeps you from taking your dog to the park for exercise, you might need to cut back on food so they don't gain weight while they're spending more time indoors. Most importantly, if the weather is too uncomfortable for you to be outside, it's likely too uncomfortable for your pet, whether that means hot or cold.