Keeping Your Pets Safe During Extreme Cold Weather

Experts advise reducing exposure to the cold in order to keep them as safe as possible

FARGO, N.D. — Another arctic blast is invading the Valley, and many will throw on a few extra layers to protect themselves against the cold, but how do we best protect our pets?

Another round of severe cold is headed to the region this week, and experts say that simply keeping your pets out of the wind isn’t enough to keep them safe.

“Just being sheltered from the wind usually isn’t enough.  We recommend having some sort of heated element if you’re going to have a dog outdoors,” said Anna Schaumburg, animal care supervisor at Homeward Animal Shelter.

Pets, like people, do best when exposed to the cold for as little as possible.

“For cats, they shouldn’t be touching the ground at all, but for dogs, keep it shorter walks and wipe their paw pads off every time they come inside,” said Schaumburg.

The oncoming cold weather can be dangerous – not only people but also for the area’s pets, but cats are especially at risk.  Some owners allow their cats outdoors, but that may not be the best thing for them during an arctic cold snap.  If caught out in the cold too long, cats can quickly get severe frostbite.

“On their toes and their ear tips, it’s pretty much the exact same as us, it can set in within half an hour to an hour,” said Schaumburg.

The shelter asks that if you see an animal out in the cold to get them to a warmer place.

“Take them in if possible and get them turned in to the local pound so they can find their rightful owners,” said Schaumburg.

Homeward Animal Shelter now has over 60 cats under their care.  For information on how you can help, click here.

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