Protect your animals from extreme cold weather

Columbus Animal Care Services and other animal advocates are urging you to take extra care for your pets in this weather.

Nicohl Birdwell Goodin, director of the Columbus animal shelter, says to take precautions with your pets if you are taking them for a walk including protecting their feet from the cold and from salt on sidewalks.

She suggests bringing outdoor pets inside if you can. If they must stay outside a dog house will keep a dog dry and help maintain body heat. The house should only be large enough for him to turn around inside and not much bigger.    The house should be half-filled with straw for bedding and insulation.  Face the opening of the dog house to the south and nail heavy plastic or cloth strips over the door to keep the wind outside and body heat inside.

For bedding, she said straw is better than blankets as the straw allows the animal to burrow down for extra warmth, while blankets can get wet and freeze.

She says that you will have to take special care with outdoor pets to make sure that they have water that isn’t frozen and extra food.

Goodin says that ultimately,  if it is too cold for you out there, it is too cold for them.

The said the Columbus Animal Care Services recommends that outside pets be brought into a house or garage when temperatures are below 20.