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Protecting pets during extremely cold temperatures:

January 18, 2013

  01/21/13 All pets need adequate shelter from the elements and insulation against cold weather. Pets should not be left outside for long periods in freezing weather. Like humans, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. The young and the senior pets are especially at risk. Pets with arthritis are prone to more discomfort in cold and damp environments.

Indoor accommodations are best during extreme temperature drops, but if that is not possible, set up a suitable house in an area protected from wind, rain, and snow. Insulation, such as straw or blankets will help keep in body heat.

Caution – do not use a heat lamp, space heater, or other device not approved for use with animals. Using these devices could result in burn hazard for your pet and may be a potential fire hazard. Pet supply vendors sell heated mats for pets to sleep on or to be placed under a dog house, but read and follow directions carefully before use.

Fresh water is a must at all times. Pets are not able to get enough water from licking ice or eating snow.

Remember:  Cats will seek warmth where they can find it, and that may be the warm engine of a car just parked. Before staring your car, knock on the hood or honk the horn to scare off any cats – and prevent tragedy.

If you would like additional information regarding safety tips during extremely cold temperatures, contact the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency at 574-936-3740.