Protecting animals in extreme cold

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - If you don't want to be out in this cold, take a second to think about how your animals feel.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is warning animal owners to protect their animals in this cold weather -- whether they're pets or livestock.

The agency says it's important to remember three key things:

  • Outdoor animals need to eat more food than usual to produce body heat;
  • Large animals should have a dry shelter or windbreak to get out of the wind, while smaller animals need an enclosed space to retain body heat and provide bedding to help with insulation; and,
  • Provide access to fresh water daily and make sure it doesn't freeze.

The Oshkosh Humane Society says symptoms of hypothermia in animals include lethargy, trouble breathing, coordination problems, pale or blue gums and dilated pupils.

It says short-haired breed dogs, like labs, beagles and terriers, and elderly dogs are most susceptible to hypothermia, which can lead to serious health problems, neurological issues, and even death.

The Humane Society says if you can't bring your dog inside, they should have an adequate form of shelter.

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