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Taking Care of Pets in Severe Cold Weather

12/05/2013

Cold weather is just as dangerous for your four-legged family members as it is for you.  "We highly encourage people to take their pets indoors in extreme weather, it’s the kindest and best thing you can do for them," stated Animal Services Superintendent, Justine Lentz.  With temperatures approaching below zero and heavy winter precipitation coming into our area, it is important to remember to prepare for the needs of your pets.  This includes having plenty of fresh food and unfrozen water available.  Dogs and cats burn calories, so it is vital to make sure that they have extra food and water during this time.  It is also important to remember that young pets cannot regulate their own body temperatures so it is imperative that they be brought indoors.

If you are unable to bring your pets inside the house or the garage, you need to make sure they have a dry, covered place to stay out of the weather.  You also need to make sure they have continued access to food and water.  "Another item some people overlook is the ice melt type products that can burn your pets’ paws," stated Lentz. "If you use those products, just make sure to wipe your pets' paws off when they come back inside," Lentz continued. 

If you are going to be traveling in this weather, it is best to leave your pets at home.  Just like in the hot summer months, it can quickly become dangerous for pets left in vehicles in extreme cold.  Lastly, animals will seek the heat from vehicles, so it is a good idea to tap the hood of your car and check your tire wells for stowaway cats.  If you are concerned about a pet being left outdoors, you can ask Fayetteville Animal Services to come out and do a conditions check by calling 479-444-3456.