Winter weather affects pets

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, January 5, 2017

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Winter weather is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and it is important for people to remember their pets while preparing for the colder temperatures.

According to Kristi Hyche, first vice president of the Chilton County Humane Society Board, there are certain common procedures to consider when keeping pets safe during the frigid conditions expected this weekend.

“The general rule is that if you’re cold, they’re cold,” Hyche said.

One of the first things to consider is increasing the amount of times the animal gets fed. Wet food is a more protein-packed option for cats.

The first option is always to bring the animal inside and away from the elements, but Hyche understands that this may not be an option for some.

In this case, a warm place for the animal to sleep is a necessity. Hyche recommended a bed of straw or cedar shavings, which works well to maximize the animal’s body heat.

“A red light or chicken light can also be used to provide added heat,” Hyche said.

Another problem that can occur is water freezing overnight. A water heater or aerator can be used to keep the water circulating in the bowl and prevent freezing.

Despite having fur, cats and dogs should be handled similarly, Hyche said.

These same procedures are used by the Humane Society to maintain a safe environment for the animals it currently houses.

The Humane Society is closed Wednesdays and Sundays. It is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.