The cold weather is upon us, which means it is essential for pet owners to monitor how much time their animals spend outdoors.

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Some people may think that a dog’s fur coat acts as an insulator, but that is actually not true.

Consider this: If you had a coat on but still had to sit on the wet freezing ground for a prolonged time, the coat would do little to protect you from the icy weather.

That is why Ohio law limits the amount of time pets, such as dogs, cats, or livestock can be kept outside. The law states that animal owners cannot:

Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance or confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation or confinement

Impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or excessive direct sunlight if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the lack of adequate shelter

Violators of the Ohio law could be punished by jail time or hefty fines.

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