By Dr. Will Novak
In mid-November, the Portland metro area saw snow which typically doesn’t happen before Thanksgiving. But forecasters have been telling us since summer to prepare for a long, hard winter. If the early snowfall is any indication, then we could see an extended period of freezing temperatures this winter.
Dogs, just as humans, can suffer from hypothermia. Their coats give them a layer of protection humans don’t have but if it’s cold enough and the dog spends enough time outdoors, freezing temperatures can have drastic effects.
It may be a common habit to open the back door for your dog so he can use the “bathroom” and then go back to what it was you were doing. Maybe in the summer you can let your dog roam around the backyard for a while but in the winter this isn’t a good idea. Take time to keep watch on your dog and then let her back in as soon as she is finished. Humans can generally handle mildly cold weather for long periods; however pets can handle the extremes better when they adjust to it slowly.