It can get so cold even a real fur coat isn't enough, the Helen Woodward Animal Center's staff cautions.
"The best way to keep your critters warm is to make sure they're indoors with you," HWAC spokesman John Van Zante said.
Pets that do have to sleep outside need special care in cold weather. A legally required shelter and also blankets for a pet to snuggle in are needed, as well as a safe heat source.
Even indoor pets can have a hard time when it gets cold.
Van Zante said to watch for signals from pets, such as shivering.
The Banfield Pet Hospital in La Jolla offered several other safety tips for pet owners:
- Poinsettias will give an animal an upset stomach if eaten. If a large quantity is consumed, the plant becomes toxic.
- Amyrillis and paperwhites are common holiday plants that are toxic to pets.
- Pets may become stressed, frightened or overwhelmed by changes in routine and activity and lots of visitors. Putting everything the animal needs in a quite, safe part of the house gives the pet a safe retreat.
For more information about pet safety during the cold weather or to adopt a pet, visit the Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Rd. in Rancho Santa Fe; or call (858) 756-4117 or visit