Anyone who has lived in Las Vegas for more than a year realizes that the weather changes pretty dramatically and pretty quickly here, and with the first day of fall now officially over, we can expect the change to colder temperatures to be happening over the next few weeks. While this break from the heat of the Las Vegas summers is welcome for most residents, we must take into consideration how this change of weather affects our pets, and what we must do to keep them safe and healthy. In Las Vegas, it is never suggested to keep your pets outside for extended periods of time during any part of the year, but what we will observe many times is pet owners feeling that it is safe to keep their pets outside of the safety of their home for longer periods of time as the weather cools off. While the imminent threat of heat may not be as obvious as it once was a few months ago, it is important to remember that your pets are still exposed to the elements during the cooler months as well, and while we do not have much for snow in Las Vegas, we do get freezing temperatures that can be quite detrimental to your pet’s health.
Cooler weather in Las Vegas also brings about the additional concerns of predatory animals who find their food sources getting scarce as winter sets in. Combined with leaving pets outdoors for longer periods of time becomes problematic as you are exposing them to possible interactions with wolves, coyotes, and large birds who are venturing closer to your home as their regular food supplies begin to dwindle. Typically, predatory animals are opportunistic and will avoid residential areas unless they are forced to seek food closer to humans, but it is always a good idea to realize that these types of animals look at small pets as food sources, and will attack them if given the opportunity. In this regard, the best way to keep your pets safe is to keep them indoors when you are not supervising them.
Another concern is water when animals are left outside for longer periods. Although the water that is left outside for your pets may last longer without drying up in the cooler weather than during our summers, animals will still need access to freshwater every day even if it is not hot outside. When people find that they can leave their pets unattended for longer periods, many times they forget about the ongoing needs of the animals simply because it is not a constant reminder. When your pet is outside they are essentially on their own, yet confined into an area where they cannot seek water from any other source other than you.
Insects are another issue with leaving your dog outside in cooler weather. Your pet is curious, and will potentially be bitten, stung, or infected by any one of the hundreds of different types of insects in your yard. Just because you do not see them does not mean that your pet will not find them when exploring your yard. Take precautions and always be on the lookout for insect bites or stings on your pet. If they encounter an insect and are stung, get them to a veterinarian immediately.
The cooler weather in Las Vegas is a welcomed break that can allow you to spend more time with your pets outside walking, playing, and relaxing. Keep aware of your surroundings and remember that your pet needs you.