Tips to keep your four-legged friends safe and warm during the winter months

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 12:16:04-05

(WXYZ) — As Michigan faces low teen and single-digit temperatures, the Michigan Animal Adoption Network and Animal Care Networker are reminding pet owners to keep their four-legged friends safe during the winter.

According to the animal organizations, dogs and cats can suffer from frostbite in a matter of minutes, mainly on feet, ears, and tails, and the low temperature and winds can also lead to illness, hypothermia, and death.

They are encouraging all pet owners with outside pets to let them inside during freezing temperatures or to at least adequately provide warmth and shelter for those pets living outdoors.

Here are some additional cold weather tips for pet owners:

The Michigan Animal Adoption Network / Animal Care Network is issuing a warning for all pet owners due to "feels like" temperatures in the teens in Metro Detroit.

Cold Weather Tips For Pet Owners:
-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 the 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 animals' feet.
-When you are cold enough to go inside, pets most likely are too!