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Keeping your outdoor pets safe in cold weather

What can you do to keep outdoor pets safe in cold weather?
Credit: WZDX

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Pet should have already been inside as much as possible for the last couple of days. Unfortunately, sometimes that isn't always possible for our furry friends who primarily live outside.

If you're cold outside, chances are they're cold, too. But there are a few things you can do to ensure your pets stay warm outside if you can't bring them inside.

  • Your pet's outdoor home should be just big enough for them to standup and turn around. Having a smaller home can help keep in body heat.
  • Use yellow straw inside of blankets. Straw is less likely to retain moisture and when blankets get wet they can turn into an ice sheet.
  • If you do insulate with yellow straw though, do not have a heat lamp near it, as this could be a serious fire hazard.

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How can you stay warm in cold weather?

If you are without power in freezing temperatures, the National Weather Service says to close your blinds and curtains to keep in the heat. They also recommend closing off rooms to prevent wasting heat.

Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.

Eat and drink. When it's cold and you have no way to heat your home, dig into those emergency snacks. Food will provide energy and help heat your body.

While you may be tempted to leave your cold home to see the snow and ice, officials say don't. You are much safer in your home.

The National Weather Service says stuffing rags and towels in cracks under doors can also help to keep the heat in your home.

There is an ordinance in the city of Huntsville that makes leaving your pet outside without a moisture-proof and wind-proof shelter - unlawful.

If this kind of treatment is reported, an officer from Huntsville Animal Services will come out and decide if the animal is being mistreated or not. 

Generally, the inside of the shelter should be maintained above 40 degrees and below 90 degrees. 

If you see something, say something. 

Call 256.883.3788 if you would like to report something and if Huntsville Animal Services is closed you’ll be directed to call the police non-emergency number 256.722.7100. 

Outside of Huntsville, you'll need to call your local police or sheriff's department. 


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