Keeping Pets Safe in Extreme Weather

Baby, It’s Still Cold Outside

By Karen Sparapani, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC)


Many believe that as dogs and cats are animals that they are suited to be outside all year round. For most of us, our pets cannot be outside comfortably any longer than we can.

MADACC takes in many animals suffering from extreme temperatures. We see both dogs and cats with frostbitten ears, tails and toes. Many of them lose those frostbitten parts just like humans can lose fingers, toes and even their nose to frostbite.

Some cats can survive in the cold because they are able to wander and locate suitable shelter from the elements. Many outdoor dogs are not that fortunate. Often chained up without shelter to lie directly on the ground during punishing cold, shelters in colder climates are starting to see more dogs with weather related injuries including hypothermia and death.

Be compassionate to the animals that depend on you. If you are not able to let your animal roam free in the house overnight find a proper sized crate for them to sleep in or block them off in a room/vestibule where they can stay warm. Provide extra food during those cold months. Make sure fresh water is always available to them. Check their ears, toes and tails to make sure they are not injured and get medical attention if they are.

Check with your municipality to see if they have rules on housing for outdoor dogs. You need to make sure you are doing your best for your best friend during these cold months.

Keeping Pets Safe in Extreme Weather