With tonight’s low in the single digits for South Bend and snow bands in the area, it is imperative that dog owners ensure their pets have adequate shelter from the cold. Frostbite and death from freezing are very real possibilities.
South Bend area resident Warenda Knight says, “Bring your dog inside if you can. If not, make sure he has a solid dog house to get out of the wind.” The wind that Mrs. Knight is speaking of will make the wind chill factor overnight drop below zero.
South Bend and the surrounding area are under a Lake Effect Snow Warning tonight. When you factor in the snow the area should get tonight, you can see why Mrs. Knight is urging her fellow dog owners to bring the pets inside.
If you are unable to bring your dog inside, you should insulate his dog house with straw, hay or wood chips. As tempting as it is to put blankets in the dog house, don’t do that. Blankets will hold the moisture from the snow when the dog walks in and out of the dog house. That moisture will freeze, so the dog will end up sleeping on a block of ice.
You also have to be careful when you take your dog out to use the bathroom. Salt used to melt snow and ice can burn a dog's skin and fur. Area kennel owner Isabel Marshall reminds dog owners "to use pet-safe ice melters sold at local pet stores" or to "cover your dog's paws when going outside." If you can't cover the paws and must use regular salt where your dog will walk, Mrs. Marshall recommends "rinsing the dog's paws with water and mild dish soap as soon as you come inside."
With temperatures not expected to rise very much and snow lingering in the South Bend area for the next few days, these tips will prove to be very useful to dog owners in the area.