The New York City American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has initiated a new pilot program in partnership with the New York Police Department and New York Cares to provide free insulated shelters for dogs that are kept outdoors most of the time. Dubbed “Gimme Shelter,” the program is currently providing the doghouses to families in the 113th Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, where many residents do not have the financial resources (or knowledge) to provide adequate housing for the animals. Participants will also receive free food, ID tags and educational material.
Like humans, dogs (and cats) are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite and should be kept indoors as much as possible during frigid and snowy days. If your dog seems anxious, is whining, seems weak and is looking for warm places to burrow into, these are signs of hypothermia and they should be brought inside immediately. You should also contact your vet immediately. Cold weather can also aggravate arthritis.
If you must keep your dog outdoors make sure they have warm shelter that is protected from the wind, and that they have plenty of fresh, unfrozen water and food. Dog coats and boots are also a good idea (provided your pet will wear them).
For more information contact the ASPCA at www.aspca.org 520 8th Ave, New York, NY 212 876-7700