Animal Care Network issues cold weather advisory for outdoor pets in metro Detroit

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 15:18:40-05

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Animal Care Network has issued a warning to remind pet owners to bring pets inside due to chilly weather in metro Detroit.

With temperatures "feeling like" they're in the single digits, bringing furry friends indoors can help prevent hypothermia.

Here are few cold weather tips from the Animal Care Network:

  • If you know anyone who keeps pets outdoors, persuade them to bring them inside.
  • Low temperatures, winds and precipitation can lead to illness, hypothermia and death.
  • Dogs and cats can suffer from frostbite in a matter of minutes, mainly on feet, ears and tails.
  • Local laws require that if dogs are kept outdoors, the owner must supply the dog with "proper" shelter:
  • If kept outside, use a dog house that is not oversized, since the dog needs to retain body heat.
  • Put a wind flap on the dog house door.
  • Provide plenty of clean, dry straw (at least 2/3 full).
  • Blankets and towels freeze when used in a dog house. Do not use.
  • Dog houses must be elevated off the ground so they don't freeze on the bottom.
  • If animals must be kept outside, face dog house away from wind.
  • Double up on food intake during cold weather. Extra weight keeps animals kept outside warmer.
  • Snow is not sufficient to hydrate animals. Water bowls freeze. Animals need access, to clean, fresh, unfrozen water.
  • Feral cats need proper shelter and protection from the elements as well.
  • Cats who spend time outside can freeze, get lost, injured or climb into the bottom of warms cars for warmth.
  • Salt and other chemicals can irritate the pads of animal's feet.
  • When you are cold enough to go inside, pets most likely are too!
  • If you see a dog or cat in need of a help, become that animal's advocate. Speak with the owner, and if that fails to improve the situation, contact your local animal shelter, humane society or animal control office.

For more information, visit the Michigan Animal Adoption Network online.