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The Dog (and Cat) Days of Winter

Just as school delays and closings are broadcast to protect children from inclement weather, you should be concerned for the outdoor safety of your pets. While most dogs and cats come equipped with fur coats, their coat does not ensure they have sufficient protection from the winter cold when temperatures dip below freezing. In general, cats should be kept indoors when temperatures near freezing to protect them from hypothermia and frostbite. Since dogs differ in their cold tolerance, there is no strict temperature cut-off for when it is no longer safe for dogs to be outside. Puppies and elderly dogs are less able to effectively regulate their body temperature than adult dogs, and this should be taken into consideration when deciding how long they can safely stay outdoors in both cold and warm weather. Dogs with some health conditions such as hypothyroid disease, anemia, and laryngeal paralysis (which is also exacerbated by warm weather) may be less tolerant of cold weather.  Even a dog’s conformation or “body type” can play a role—dogs with short legs that are lower to the ground may be more susceptible to the cold if their abdomens get cold and wet from the snow.  


The only published guideline for cold weather safety for dogs is the Tufts Animal Care and Condition (TACC) Weather Safety Scale.  A more user-friendly cold weather safety chart (below) can give you an idea of the level of concern you should have for your dog based the temperature and conditions outside.


November- The Scottish Fold

History of the BreedScottish Fold Free
The Scottish Fold is a unique breed of cat with ears that fold forward, creating an "owl-like" appearance.  The original Scottish Fold was a white barn cat from Scotland named Susie.  When Susie had kittens, two of them were born with folded ears.  A local farmer, William Ross, took a liking to these cats, and with the help of geneticist Pat Turner, the pair learned that the fold is caused by a dominant gene that affects the ear cartilage, and they were able to breed for this characteristic.
As time went on, however, it was determined that if cats had 2 of these dominant genes (homozygous for folds), those cats were at risk for developing osteochondrodysplasia, a condition that causes a malformation of the bones.
To prevent the risk of developing osteochondrodysplasia, ethical Scottish Fold breeders will only breed a Fold to a Non-Fold cat. 

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4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
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