With the onset of the holiday season in Las Vegas, we begin to see the colder weather that all people who have lived here long enough realize that the weather begins to change to colder temperatures around the end of October, and will get progressively colder throughout the winter. Many people who have just moved to Las Vega, or who have not yet been through a winter here might not have an accurate idea of exactly how cold it gets, and might be under the impression that it is all right to leave their pets outside now that the hot weather has passed. Nothing is further from the truth, and the cold weather in Las Vegas can have just as deadly an effect on pets as the heat. Simply put, it will go to below freezing here many nights, and sometimes without much warning. This means it is not safe to leave your cats and dogs outside in the cold without adequate shelter, food or water.
When the temperatures drop in Las Vegas, they do so quickly and many times without much warning. Animals that are left outside in the freezing temperatures have little ability to cope with the temperatures, and many times will be left not only cold but without enough water due to the fact that it freezes and is no longer drinkable by the animal. This can happen within a few hours if a dog or cat is left unattended and unsupervised, leading to potential hypothermia, frostbite and dehydration due to lack of adequate water. So many people believe that since animals have fur they will be better adapted to coping with colder temperatures, but what you have to realize is that their extremities are just as vulnerable as your own hands and feet. Combine this with the fact that most of our pets are not used to living outside and it makes the cold even more difficult for them to deal with. Frostbite can happen within minutes if the temperatures drop below freezing and your pet is exposed, so it is always suggested to bring your pet inside as soon as it gets too cold out for you to feel comfortable outside yourself.
In the cases where your pet does spend extended periods of time outside, provide them with the shelter of a dog house or another structure that will allow them some shelter from the cold temperatures. If that shelter can be heated, it will help them feel comfortable and also keep their water from freezing. Something to keep in mind as well is that water which is left in metal bowls outside in cold temperatures can cause the dog or cat’s tongues to stick to the frozen metal if temperatures drop, causing injuries to the sensitive tissues. Your pet will instinctively lick the bowl and does not understand that their tongues might stick to the surfaces, which can cause severe damage when they try to pull away. Keep water in plastic bowls in cold temperatures.
The colder weather may allow your pet to be outside longer than when it was very hot outside, but as a responsible pet owner it is always best to plan on keeping your pet inside in the Las Vegas winters as much as possible. They get cold too!