How to keep your pets safe amid dangerously cold winter weather

Tips for preventing hypothermia, frostbite, death among pets

Winston, a dog owned by Paul Bossert, licks snow from his nose after racing around in the snow during a winter storm, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Morganton, N.C. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) (Kathy Kmonicek, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A winter storm is approaching Michigan, and the snow, cold temperatures, gusting winds and potential ice are just as dangerous for our fuzzy friends as they are for us.

Pet owners are being urged to take steps to keep their animals safe from dangerous winter weather expected to last Thursday, Dec. 22-Saturday, Dec. 24. The freezing temperatures and snow can have a “significant negative impact” on animal’s health, which could include hypothermia, frostbite and death, according to Michigan Humane.

Related: Winter safety tips: How to prepare as dangerous pre-Christmas storm approaches Michigan

The shelter is suggesting pet owners do the following to keep their animals safe during the storm:

  • Bring pets indoors to a climate-controlled space;
  • Limit time outdoors to bathroom breaks and provide sweaters or coats, removing them once back indoors;
  • Make sure they have access to clean water that is not frozen; and
  • If you are using a dog house, make sure it meets standards set by the state of Michigan for appropriate shelter.

Anyone in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park can contact Michigan humane at 313-872-3401 if they see a pet that’s been left outside in the inclement weather without proper food, water or shelter. Everyone else is encouraged to contact their local animal control or police department if they witness the same issue in their area.

Read more: Winter storm watch in Metro Detroit may get upgraded: Here’s what blizzard, winter storm warnings mean


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.