It's winter, it's supposed to be cold -- but 26 degrees for a high seems way too cold for Washington, DC. That's what is predicted for Friday, January 16th -- just 26 degrees for a day time high and only 15 degrees for the low. Brrrrrrr! That means if someone leaves their dog outside with a bowl of water, the dog's liquid will be one giant ice cube in no time AND it will stay that way, with no thawing in sight. That's not right. Whether you live in the District of Columbia, Wisconsin, or even Alabama, dogs, and cats, should not be left outside in the cold.
The bone-chilling cold that is hugging the nation is responsible for highs like -2 degrees in Altoona, Wisconisn and 2 degrees above zero in Des Moines, Iowa (with a low of -6) and only 56 degrees in Auburn, Alabama with a low well below the freezing mark. This is a good time to think of all animals. What can we do to make sure that dogs, cats, and area wildlife are protected from the latest arctic blast?
- Keep dogs and cats inside
- If there is snow on the ground and/or salt in street, make sure to wipe your dog's pads with a warm water cloth after a walk
- Tell drivers to knock on the hoods of their cars to frighten away any unsuspecting cats who may have climbed up under the hood seeking warmth in the car's engine
- If you know someone who leaves their dog outside, make sure the dog has a proper dog house. That means that the house is elevated off of ground, has a flap over the entry way to keep out wind and has hay or shredded newspaper inside for bedding -- not a towel or blanket. Better yet, also alert the local animal welfare agency and let them check out the dog house
- Feed the birds and other wildlife. It's hard for birds, squirrels and other animal friends to find food in the winter. Put seed and/or suet in a convenient place. Once you commit to feeding the birds, don't stop until spring. The animals will be come dependent on your generosity and come to feed regularly at the designated spot.