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Baby it’s cold outside! Do you know where your pets are?

By Gary Bogue
Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 6:51 am in Birds, Cats, Cold weather, dogs.

Penguins in Antarctica. Photo by Karl Nielsen, Benicia, CA.

Baby it’s cold outside! And the San Francisco Bay Area weather report for this weekend is FREEZING WEATHER, especially for Saturday and Sunday mornings when it may get down to the low 20’s in some areas.

Are your pets staying warm during this freezing weather? Here are a couple of simple ideas to help make that happen:

Snow on Mount Diablo. Photo by Robert Heaton, Lafayette, CA
diablo snow robert heaton laf

EXTRA SPECIAL NOTE: Don’t leave pets outdoors when temperatures get close to freezing like this. Dogs may need outdoor exercise but don’t keep them out for long periods during very cold weather. (Give them a break until it warms up!) Short-haired dogs may need a sweater.

** CATS: I put a huge beach towel and an old wool blanket on the sectional couch in our family room. Some cats like to stretch out on top of warm blankets (like Newman, our longhair Maine coon cat). Others like to roll up in a big towel ball until their humans get up in the morning and turn on the heater.

** DOGS: If your dog sleeps on the couch, give it a blanket. If it sleeps on the floor, it should have an insulated pad to sleep on AND a blanket. And PLEASE don’t leave it outside!

** CAGE BIRDS: Make sure the cage is covered.

Are any other creative pet warmers lurking about out there?

** HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS: Hummingbirds are hypothermic. If they get too cold, their body temperatures drop and they get very lethargic and sometimes fall off their perches. Once they warm up, they’ll usually take a few long drinks of sugar water from your feeder. That will energize them and help them pull themselves back together.

** NOTE: Please check your hummingbird feeders on these freezing mornings and replace the frozen, slushy or very cold solution with some fresh room temperature (or slightly warm) nectar. The hummers will appreciate that a lot.

Local hummingbirds that usually spend their winters here in the Bay Area’s normally moderate climate are probably thinking about looking for a new travel agent.

** FINALLY: Parked cars attract cats and other small wildlife that may climb under the hood looking for warmth on the engine. Bang on the hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

Stay warm, everyone! /Gary

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