Take good care of your pets (and others’ if necessary) during this cold streak


For the next week or so, highs are predicted to reach only into the teens and lows will be in the single digits. Folks at the La Porte County Small Animal Shelter remind you to take good care of your pets – and look out for the well being of other pets, also – during this cold streak.

If you see a pet that is being left outside or one that is running as a stray, please call the shelter at 219-326-1637. Also, here are some tips the shelter offers from the American Veterinary Association:

  • Keep them inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are more resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. No pet should be left outside for long periods in below-freezing weather.
  • Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
  • Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes.
  • Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly.
  • Wipe down: During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up de-icers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe de-icers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.
  • Provide shelter: If you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment.

One Response to “Take good care of your pets (and others’ if necessary) during this cold streak”

  1. Property Owner

    Feb 07. 2021

    I recall there is a LaPorte County Ordinance that requires dog owners to bring dogs indoors or provide heated shelter for dogs when the temperature drops below 10 degrees F.

    Maybe the LaPorte County Animal Shelter personnel can confirm the ordinance language?

    And possibly, Dennis with WLOI could announce this over the radio?

    A thank you to WNLP and to individual(s) that prepared this notice.

    Reply to this comment

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