Winter is here! The temperatures are dropping, and the cold wind is blowing. This means you need to make sure your pets are safe and comfortable.

When temperatures are below freezing, pets need to be brought inside. Cats and dogs are domesticated animals. They can’t tolerate the cold like wildlife because they aren’t physiologically built for such extremes in temperature. Domesticated animals like cats and dogs need to be inside with us. If we are cold, they are cold.

The law doesn’t protect them like it should because the standard – a pet needs water, food, and shelter – is extremely vague. Shelter could be a plastic crate, and we all know plastic doesn’t keep the cold out. Unfortunately, some people think that is enough to serve for shelter. It isn’t! People need to be educated on how to care for their pets. A pet isn’t something you get and then throw outside to fend for itself. Pets are a responsibility just like children. Pets are family.

We all just need to remember that pets feel the cold just as we do so when it’s really cold, we need to limit time outside and be sure our pets have a warm dry place to stay. Pets are one of the most vulnerable members of our society. They need protection.