By Bailee Harris
With dangerously low temperatures heading for the Mid-South in the next few days, pet owners should prioritize keeping themselves, as well as their animals, safe.
Monica Mock, DeSoto County Animal Shelter Director, shared a few tips with the public to utilize when preparing for the arctic air headed our way.
“They have to have food, water, and shelter, but in this cold weather, they have to make sure that the water doesn’t freeze,” said Mock. “ If the dogs are outside, they need to have a structure that prevents the rain, wind, and snow from getting in. They need to have some sort of bedding.”
The animal’s shelter should be facing away from the direction that the wind is blowing in order to prevent the elements from getting inside their home.
Straw is the best bedding for the animals, as opposed to blankets, towels, or dog beds. These will collect moisture, while straw will allow the animal to burrow in it to keep warm.
Animals should try to be kept inside, and Mock adds that even a garage would be the best alternative if the owner is not able to bring them inside. However, the owner should prepare ahead of time if their animal is to be kept outside.
“Make sure that you do the same thing for the cats,” Mock said. “If they have feral cats or barn cats, they need somewhere warm to get out of the weather. Even cats can’t survive it; their bodies aren’t big enough to take that much cold. “
Aside from the normal preparations for the cold weather, such as stocking up on groceries, covering outdoor faucets, and letting your indoor faucets run, pet owners should ensure that their animals will also be safe from the upcoming freezing temperatures.
Bailee Harris is a reporter and contributor for DeSoto County News.