Cold Weather Can Harm Animals

by Katie Jeffries on January 31, 2010 at 6:36 am

People are bundling-up to go outside in this weather, but animals also need some extra insulation when the temperatures get below freezing.

The Executive Director of the Muskingum County Animal Shelter, Larry Hostetler, advises pet owners to make sure their animals are well-fed during the winter. Animals burn more calories during the winter months trying to keep warm, so make sure they have food and their water bowl did not freeze. Dogs and cats can also suffer from frostbite and the salt thrown down on side walks can take a toll on their paws.

"Having ice and salt and dirt build-up between the paws, the hair between the paws and the pads,  it can cause irritations burns things like that, especially with the salt on the sidewalk and things like that you need to make sure that is cleaned out," says Hostetler.

If your pet is wet from the snow make sure there is no ice on its coat. Also, if pets live outside insulate their shelters with straw to help keep your pet warm. If you do not take proper care of your pet, Hostestler says you could face criminal charges.

"They can face charges for animal neglect or abuse if they are not providing what the state requires.  Food, water, grooming things like that, if their coat is not kept up where it puts them in a hazard, where they can get medical problems or die from it, yes it can be considered abuse," tells Hostetler.

Hostetler says pets must be brought in doors if the temperature gets into the single digits.


Katie Jeffries