LANSING, Mich. — Pets and livestock feel cold weather and need their owners to provide protection during frigid temperatures like what we’ve been experiencing, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“The biggest concerns are frostbite and hypothermia; and just like us, they are subject to the cold,” said Michele Schalow, a program manager in MDARD’s Animal Industry Division. “Just because they have fur, that doesn’t mean they can’t get too cold.”
Schalow offers several tips for protecting pets and animals when temperatures drop.
Pets’ time outside should be limited – just enough time to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.
For animals with short coats, owners may want to consider putting clothing on them if they will tolerate it. Clothing should fit well and not have anything loose that can get caught.
Horses should be blanketed, and owners should check under the blankets to make sure their bodies are in good condition, as horses can lose weight in the wintertime.
Schalow has more tips on emergency preparation, proper care of pets’ feet, appropriate bedding, winter nutrition and other potential hazards and safeguard. Those tips can be found in a podcast series here.