Freezing weather impacts pets
Monett animal control advises residents to keep pets inside
Though temperatures are beginning to warm up slightly, local officials are advising residents that freezing temperatures can be dangerous, and even deadly, for outdoor pets.
Monett Animal Control Officer Karen Griggs said community members have been taking good care of their animals over the course of the past two weeks.
“The calls have not increased with this storm,” Griggs said. “I have been going out checking the dogs that we know are normally outside, and thankfully, the owners have felt that they should be bringing their dogs inside.”
Griggs said some animals are better equipped to handle cold temperatures than others, but any time the weather reaches freezing temperatures, pet owners should bring their animals inside.
“Any time it’s below freezing, or below zero, we do recommend you bring your dogs and your cats inside so they’re not freezing,” she said.
As a rule, dogs that are smaller with thinner coats, and dogs that are very young, old or sick should not be left outside for prolonged periods of time during extreme temperatures.
Once temperatures hit about 20 degrees, the potential for frostbite and hypothermia increases significantly for pets.
Griggs said there are many ways for residents to keep their outdoor pets warm if they are going to be outside now that temperatures are moving towards more reasonable numbers.
“Straw makes a big difference
for dogs,” Griggs said. “You can use straw to supplement the insulation inside their dog houses, and bales of straw outside dog houses can add even more insulation.”
Griggs also said dog houses should have off-set doors, or wind blocks, such as bales of hay, to ensure the dog’s body heat can sufficiently warm the dog house.
Residents should also be vigilant when using chemical de-icers where pets are present. Some de-icing products can leave chemical burns on pet’s paws. De-icers can also be toxic when ingested.
Though it is necessary for pets to be let outside periodically during freezing temperatures, it is important for pet owners – especially those with short-haired animals – to limit the time outside to short intervals, and whenever possible, to keep an eye on the animals while they are outside.