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*It's a Dog's Life*
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what is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?Views: 1653
Mar 10, 2008 2:59 amwhat is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?#

Cathy Markowich

I have a question for those of you who own cats. I donít have cats because some family members are allergic. I am sitting this week for a family of 2 cats. They never go outdoors. This past weekend we had torrential rains and high winds which resulted in power outages and some trees down in certain areas where I live. The cats I sit for have a huge tree down in their front yard which also resulted in no power and no heat. This afternoon I went there and the thermostat was at 50 degrees. Tonight the temp is down to 20 degrees. The gas company has been working on the lines and said the heat will be back up tonight. BUT, I was thinking, what if there was no heat? How low a temperature can cats tolerate if the heat didnít come back up?. Since they are not outdoor cats I would think they would have a lower tolerance? And what about dogs, how much can they tolerate the cold? I never thought of this before.


Private Reply to Cathy Markowich

Mar 10, 2008 5:45 pmre: what is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?#

Ann Rader
Hi Cathy, What a mess March has been! I wouldn't worry about the cats. They will find relatively warm places to cuddle. It would have to be quite cold before they would get frostbite, which would be the first thing that would happen. So long as they are sheltered and have food, they'll be fine. 20 degrees is no big deal.

As for dogs, sadly they seem to survive the outdoor temps when they are left out all winter. Again, I think frostbite would be the first problem they would have -- besides discomfort.

This is isn't too scientific ... but I would say that a normal, healthy animal would have to be exposed to below zero temps to freeze to death ... :-( ... and again it would depend on whether they had food, shelter from the wind, etc.

This past January someone I know lost her dog outside in North Dakota for three days and it was -20. Finally, the dog, a Sheltie, allowed herself to be caught. She did have some frost bite on her toes, but was fine otherwise.

Best, Ann

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Mar 10, 2008 7:15 pmre: re: what is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?#

Marielena Alvarez
Naked cats, like the sphinx, would not be able to tolerate cold, even moderate temperatures. Certainly a Persian or other long-coated cat fares better than a domestic shorthair. Outdoor cats get a heavier coat in winter.

I have accidently left one or the other of my cats out over night and they seemed fine, other than being ticked off at being left out all night!

For dogs, I think my Shepherd, Lady would fare better than my pit bull, who has a short coat and is almost naked on her belly. CiCi wears a coat for walks when it is cold, while Lady goes without, as she has a heavy winter coat. Lady gets a summer cut that makes her more comfortable in the summer. Neither are outdoor dogs.

Maryland winters are milder than northern states and our summers are moderate compared to southern states.

Private Reply to Marielena Alvarez

Mar 10, 2008 7:27 pmre: re: re: what is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?#

Tom Gillispie writer/editor
I once let our three dogs (two longhairs, one shorthair) into the yard in 30-degree weather, but I didn't notice that the dog door was closed. Two or three hours later, I opened the door wide, and the three dogs tried to race through it side by side by side. They looked like the Three Stooges, getting jammed in the door.

They were cold but fine. I think they were more concerned with water than cold.


Private Reply to Tom Gillispie writer/editor

Mar 11, 2008 3:22 amre: re: re: re: what is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?#

Cathy Markowich

Tom, I was hysterical just picturing your dogs going through the door side by side. I love when dogs do crazy stuff like that.

We have a flap doggie door. My youngest dog Lucy is afraid of it and just looks at it and then sits down and waits for me to open the door. My older dog uses it no problem. You would think Lucy would "get it" seeing the other dog go through it. Cracks me up. I guess it's puppy naivete even though she is 18 months old.

Anyway, thanks everyone for calming my fears, the cats were fine today and the heat was back on.


Private Reply to Cathy Markowich

Mar 11, 2008 2:58 pmre: re: re: re: re: what is the lowest temp pets can tolerate?#

Ann Rader
One of the things I love most about dogs is the comic relief they offer us! They make life so much fun!

Private Reply to Ann Rader

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