FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Animal Care and Control encourages you to protect your pets from the cold as frigid temperatures move into the area this weekend.
A city ordinance requires you to bring your pet into a heat control environment any time temperatures dip below 10 degrees, or when a windchill warning has been issued.
Protecting your animals from the cold
- An animal that spends time outside must have access to a proper shelter specifically designed for an animal.
- Monitor temperatures and bring the animal inside to a temperature controlled structure when temperatures dip below 10 degrees and/or a wind chill warning is issued.
- Use straw or cedar chips for bedding. Towels, blankets and hay are insufficient because cloth draws moisture and hay will mold.
- Insulate the animal's house and raise it several inches above the ground with concrete blocks to prevent snow from drifting inside. Frame the elevated area with boards or sand bags to prevent winds from gusting under the animal's house.
- Animals need extra food to help generate enough body heat to stay warm and must have unfrozen water to drink at all times. A heated water bucket is a great investment.
- All dogs and cats living within the city must wear the required city pet registration tag on a properly fitted leather or nylon collar.
- Keep all cats inside. Those who spend time outside can experience frostbite, or become lost or injured.
- Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach following cold weather walks. Dogs can easily ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking their paws. Check paws for cuts caused by snow or encrusted ice.
It's also important to remember pets cannot be outside longer than 15 minutes in these conditions without access to shelter and water.
Animal Care and Control is also currently offering free straw to anyone in need of adequate pet bedding.
If you see an animal in need, you're asked to contact the shelter at 260-449-3000.
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