DETROIT (WXYZ) - With temperatures in the single digits, the Michigan Humane Society is asking pet owners to make sure they don't forget about their four legged friends.
They have released the following guidelines pet owners should follow when things get this cold.
- When temperatures plummet, pets should not be left outside for any length of time. Be sure to bring small or short-haired pets in when temperatures reach 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to take into account precipitation and wind chill.
- Cats should be kept indoors or at least brought into a warm, animal-proofed garage during severe weather.
- Roaming cats often seek the warmth of car engines, so be sure to knock on the car hood or honk the horn before starting your car to startle them and give them a chance to escape.
- •Increase the amount of food you provide for dogs left outside by 10-20 percent during the winter months. The extra calories are needed to help an animal to stay warm.
- Regular access to clean, unfrozen water is also critical. Check drinking water frequently – every few hours – to ensure that it is unfrozen.
- If an animal is cold to the touch, or his paws and ears are pale, he may be suffering from frostbite. Move the animal to a warmer area and contact your veterinarian immediately.
They also remind pet owners that under Michigan law pet owners are required to provide enough food and water, as well as adequate shelter for their pets.
Anyone having trouble doing that can contact the Michigan Humane Society for help.