New Pennsylvania Law Limits Dogs Time Out In The Cold

Earlier this year I posted a blog post on how to keep your dog safe in the winter. It included tips on how to keep your pet warm along with do’s and don’ts. You can view it here.

The bottom line is that dogs should never be left outside in the cold.  Just like humans, they too can develop hypothermia. This can occur when a dog spends too much time in the cold or gets wet in cold temperatures.  Dogs that are in poor health can become affected as well.

Remember that dogs are smaller making them more susceptible.  Also, their body temperature is higher so it can become dangerous when it drops.  When hypothermia occurs symptoms can include muscles stiffness, shivering, weak pulse, difficulty breathing and lethargy.  Dogs suffering from severe hypothermia, can suffer from an irregular heartbeat, dilated pupils and coma.  Left untreated the dog can die.

Frostbite is another problem.  Like us, dog can get frostbite if they are exposed to the cold for a long period of time.  Frostbite occurs when a part of your dog’s body freezes—often the tail, ears or foot pads.

Frostbite signs include pale, shriveled skin that later turns red and puffy, and ears, paws or tail that are painful to the touch. (

hypothermia and dog safety

As I was reading the news online, I came across an article stating that a new Pennsylvania law will now limit your dog’s time in the cold.

The law states that a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 or about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Those who do could face criminal charges with penalties ranging from a $50 to $750 fine and up to 90 days in jail for a summary offense to a $15,000 fine and seven years in prison for a third-degree felony.

I think these laws are a good idea to serve as a reminder. You can read the entire article here.

hypothermia and dog safety

You can read my blog post “How to Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter” by clicking here.