St. Paul Animal Control: 'If It's Too Cold For You, It's Too Cold For Your Pets

Updated: 01/03/2014 9:41 PM By: Todd Wilson

Jamie Dean is out for a walk with her dog Roxy. She says her pup typically lasts about 15 minutes before calling it quits in these cold temperatures. At home Roxy's time outside is even shorter.   

"I luckily have a fenced in backyard so I try to let her out every four hours or so. She doesn't stay outside very long, she doesn't like it," she said.

But not everyone understands their pet's needs as well as Dean. Molly Lunaris with the St. Paul Animal Control Department says this winter they've gotten a lot of calls about animals out in the cold.

"But typically when we go out we're able to make contact with an owner about that and through a little education we're able to resolve the problem without bringing the animal to the shelter," Lunaris said.

Molly says education is the key to preventing deaths.

"So we would tell the dog owner that if it's too cold for you, it's to cold for your pet. Even dogs with thick fur coats like Huskies or Malmutes-- they're still going to get old out there," she said.

Here are some words of advice from the Humane Society: A dog that spends most of its time indoors, should only be let out to relieve themselves during severe weather.

"So that they don't end up with frostbite or even hypothermia," Lunaris said.

Before walks, it's suggested to put Vaseline or doggie shoes on your pet's paws to protect him or her from sidewalk salt and chemicals; wipe the Vaseline off when back inside. Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet's paws and coat immediately.

Under Minnesota law you have to protect your pet from the elements, even if they typically are left outside.

The law states, all companion animals must be provided shelter either letting then in the house or at least the garage.