Keep your pets warm, safe in low temps

Published 12:30 pm Monday, December 19, 2022

Cold weather and rain are not a good combination for pets.

“We are expecting both this week, including extremely low temperatures,” said Beth Adcock with Brookhaven Animal Rescue League.

Here are a few tips are keeping pets warm and safe.

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If you have outdoor pets, bring them in if there is any way possible. If not, make sure they have a dry, draft-free doghouse that:

  • Is large enough for the pets to sit and lie down in, but small enough to retain body heat.
  • Has a floor that is elevated a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Blankets get wet and cold.
  • Has an entrance that faces away from heavy winds and is covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.

Feral, outdoor and stray cats need shelter, too. You can:

  • Provide a shelter. This will give cats somewhere to go to get away from wind and other elements. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to build your own. Ideas for shelters to make or buy can be found at online sources like, along with tips on what does and does not make a good shelter.
  • Insulate cat shelters with straw rather than hay. Straw repels moisture, unlike hay. Cats can burrow into the straw to stay dry and warm. Keep adding straw throughout the season.
  • Use a heated bowl for cat’s water and wet food to prevent them from freezing. Or use rubber containers meant for horses, that won’t crack like plastic containers if water freezes in them.
  • Build a feeding station to protect food and water from the elements.

Also, provide fresh food and water daily for any outdoor animal. Wet food and water can freeze overnight.