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Time to begin cold weather preparations for pets

Posted at 7:08 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 20:29:09-05

WACO, Texas — Freezing temperatures are right around the corner, which may leave pet owners in Central Texas concerned about how to keep them warm and safe.

"Just like when we take more precautions when it's colder outside, we bundle up. We need to take precautions with the pets, they're not used to the cold weather either," Dr. Kristin Dodson, veterinarian, and owner of Hewitt Vet Hospital told 25 News.

Dodson said the most important way to protect your pets is to make sure they have adequate shelter and unfrozen water.

"Something that can help retain the pets heat, you can use straw, blankets, all of that would be best," Dodson said. "Make sure it's secure and windproof so wind can't get in and that will help the pet stay warmer as well. Or bring them inside, best yet. Bring them inside when it's cold to keep them out of the cold temperatures."

When bringing pets out for a walk, it's best to limit the time they are outside or put them in winter clothing, such as a jacket or booties.

"Some animals have shorter hair coats and would benefit potentially from adding a jacket on if they're going to be outside for a period of time," Dr. Dodson said. "You can buy boots for them. It can be hard to get used to, but most of the time they do well when they're outside with them."

For animals that don't have an inside to escape to, the Humane Society of Central Texas will implement their cold weather policy.

"We are going to have staff here 24 hours a day to monitor the shelter, our heating system, and monitor the animals," Animal Shelter Administrator Trey Buzbee said. "We're going to care for the animals that are here in our care, find them food, keep them warm. We'll have animals in the shelter taken care of."

The shelter is currently at capacity with almost 200 pets, but staff hopes to find a few of those animals homes before Thursday and Friday.

"For the rest of the week we are having free adoptions at the Humane Society," Operations Manager Jordan Cervantez said. "We want as few animals at the shelter to take care of during this cold weather. We're doing free adoptions through Saturday, there's no better time to adopt an animal."