It has been colder in Chicago these last two days than it has been in decades. Yesterday morning my thermometer outside my window showed -20 degrees – that’s Fahrenheit! Almost everything closed – even the post office!
It was so cold that Metra used flames near the train track switches to keep them warm! This temperature drop was extreme!
Someone on NPR said only let your dog out for a minute or he might get frostbite. Another person was walking her dog at the beach.
But your dog needs to do his business, so what do you do?
Since Buffy is blind, it often takes her longer to find her way down the porch stairs and back up again. Sometimes she gets “lost” in our driveway, unable to find the stairs. The first time I let her outside, I used a short leash, led her down the stairs, and told her to “go potty.” This helped her move along a little quicker, but she didn’t seem too cold—maybe that’s because even to do a quick pee break, I dressed her in a sweater AND a coat.
After breakfast, I put on her booties (PAWZ rubber booties work best on her), plus put her coat on over her sweater.
I let her decide how far to walk. This time she walked two houses before finishing her business.
With wind chills around -45 degrees, we didn’t want to stay out too long!
The rest of the day, and the next, I never let her go outside without her coat on to protect her from the wind. I left her sweater on in the house since it was a bit chilly inside. At night, I covered her up with two big bath towels to stay warm and in the morning, she still lay under the covers. She liked being cozy!
Protect your dog from the cold:
- A sweater helps protect some areas, like their chest, better than a coat.
- Put a coat on over a sweater to protect against the wind.
- Use booties. That snow is cold! If your dog makes a big puddle and gets her paws wet, at least they won’t freeze!
- Let your dog decide how long she wants to stay out. Today it warmed to -2 and we walked up and down the block instead of just a few houses. Limit your time outdoors.
- Come up with indoor games, like throwing the ball or hide and seek.
What do you do with your dog on extremely cold days?
Here are some other ideas that Paws Chicago promotes: