Protecting Pets from Weather Extremes

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

The bitter cold doesn't just chill you to the bone. Pets are also extremely vulnerable when left outside while temperatures are below freezing.

Lauderdale County Animal Control director Dewayne Sosebee says many local residents have been voicing concerns for animals left outdoors.

"We have had a lot more calls for service to check on animals, people that refuse to buy a dog house for their animal," said Sosebee. "Just to make sure they're being cared for properly."

Not all pets are allowed indoors. If this is the case for your animal, veterinarian Dr. A.G. Harrell has some tips for keeping your pets warm and safe.

"Putting some hay or bedding, old towels, sheets, blankets, putting a cover over the opening of the dog house," advised Harrell. "It is important with this severe cold weather that we break the ice. Be sure the pets have some warm water. Or water that not frozen."

Harrell is even offering free insulation for outdoor animals.

"They can get a bag of hay to put in the dog house for the pets during the severe cold weather that we are having," Harrell said.

Some pets just shake with excitement from seeing their owner. But for others that could mean hypothermia is setting in.

"Once they pass the point of being able to jerk or tremble, they could still have hypothermia and not be jerking and trembling, and those would be more serious," Harrell said.

There are a number of boarding facilities offering warm kennels to pets during this cold weather.

If you see a pet in need, one that has been left out in the single-digit temperatures, call animal control, where all kennels are heated and indoors.


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