How to ensure that pets and livestock stay warm and safe during drops in temperatures

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Artic Blast: How to ensure your pets and livestock stay warm
You may be prepared for tomorrow's arctic front, but are your animals?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- You may be prepared for Thursday's arctic front, but are your animals?

Freezing temperatures can be deadly for both family pets and livestock, but there are steps you can take to ensure their safety.

"They're like us. They don't like the cold probably as much, so they're not as resilient," the owner of Needville Animal Hospital, Hannah Spacek, said.

She recommends bringing any dogs or cats inside on Thursday.

RELATED: Very cold air is coming. Thursday, Friday are Weather Alert Days with arriving arctic front Thursday

A new law even requires pet owners to provide shelter for outdoor animals in extreme temperatures.

"They need shelter, some kind of covering, like a garage where they can get in and get out of the cold, get out of the wind," Spacek said. "And, then some kind of bedding, it doesn't have anything fancy, but old towels, old blankets, deep straw."

And remember your livestock.

Farm animals burn up to 50% extra calories to maintain body temperature when it gets colder.

"Everything, like their metabolism, just slows down," Spacek said. "They're just trying to stay in one place to stay warm, so they're not eating, everything is just slowed down. It's survival mode."

RELATED: Arctic blast 2022: Houston and Harris County officials prepare residents for extreme weather

Needville Feed is already running out of supplies.

"We've sold over 12 cases of light bulbs. We had 20 cases of light fixtures come in, we sold out of them," owner Mike Nulisch said. "And people are still scuffling, trying to get to them now."

"I've got some cows right out of town, and it's going to get below 20," customer Cory Riggs said. "So, they'll be doing really good with a little extra food and hay."

You can also use hay for warmth.

And, if you have any newborn animals, pay close attention to how they're doing.

"Taking them sometimes inside the house for a day or two to get them warmed up. Hair dryers to warm them and dry them off sometimes to give them just the jumpstart they need," Spacek said.

"Coming into the world when it's really cold and you're used to being in a really warm environment can be pretty shocking," Spacek said.

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