TEXAS, USA — As people begin to put on extra layers to keep warm, animals such as dogs and cats are in the same weather and need to be taken care of, as well.
The February 2021 winter storm affected animals in a tremendous way. So as temperatures begin to drop, Western Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Dr. Gary Hodges says this is the best time to prepare for what is already here and what may come.
“While it’s not freezing like it may be in a couple months, it’s still important to be mindful of your pets, especially the ones with no fur coat. Keeping them in doors as much as possible and having blankets for them will help keep them comfortable for the next few months,” Hodges said.
Another tip some may not know is to change out your pets' water bowl a few times per day, rinsing out the cold water and replacing it with lukewarm water.
West Texas isn’t known for having snow every year, but some cold weather tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association can still be utilized.
Check your pets paws for signs of cold weather injuries
Dress them in cold weather wear when temperatures drop low
Know your pets limits when they’re outdoors
Chip and collar your animal just in case they stray away from home
Stray animals such as cats will some times hide in vehicle engines or under vehicle hoods. It is recommended to either honk your horn or knock on the hood before starting your vehicle to avoid injuring an animal trying to find warmth.
After years of contemplation by Gov. Greg Abbott, a new bill was passed aimed at the care of Texas animals.
Senate Bill 5, also known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, was signed into law and will go into effect in January 2022.
This bill includes giving a dog access to adequate shelter that protects them during extreme weather events and giving a dog access to clean drinkable water.