Over the next few days people with outdoor pets should take extra precautions during the brutal sub- freezing temperatures.
If you live in a neighborhood that is populated with cats, animal experts say you should knock on the hood of your car before you start it to make sure there isn’t one inside trying to stay warm.
If you have a outside dog and can’t bring it inside make sure it has a proper outside shelter with plenty of fresh straw.
Terry MacKillop the Director of the Roscommon Animal Shelter said, Michigan normally doesn’t see these sub-zero temperatures. Outdoor shelters should provide blockage from the wind and be equipped with plenty of fresh straw to keep the animals warm.
“ You should have some type of straw or even cedar chips or something for the animal. We don’t suggest putting blankets into any type of shelter because what happens is with this type of cold the animal will lay on the blanket or whatever you have in their carpet or whatever. And the animals body will cause a frosting onto that blanket and then the animal itself once it’s out of there the carpet will refreeze and then the animal has to work twice as hard to get it’s body warmed up.”
MacKillop went on to say how drinking water should be checked every few hours to avoid freezing.
“People are under the theory that dogs can survive by licking snow. You can take a 5 gallon bucket of snow and by the time it melts you have less than a half of inch of water. And an animal works hard if that’s all it has out there to quench its thirst to melt the snow into it’s mouth and that also cause problems for the animal.”
Pet owners need to stay on top of it because in a matter of 20 minutes without proper shelter your dog could have frostbite.