SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With colder temperatures in the forecast, the Animal Control Supervisor for the city of Sioux Falls is warning pet owners to take precautions to keep their pets safe.
Julie Lindstrom said in a cold weather advisory news release, pets suffering from illness and pets that are elderly or that have thin fur coats can be more susceptible to winter weather. Signs that your pet should be brought inside include shivering, weakness, whining or pawing at the door, or holding up its feet.
Some pets, such as huskies, will be able to maintain their body temperatures longer in cold weather, but owners should still monitor them for signs of frostbite or hypothermia.
Pets who spend extended time outside must have access to shelter away from the wind and snow. Lindstrom says that straw or hay are a better option than blankets for outside bedding in dog houses, as blankets can get wet and freeze. Keep the floor of the dog house off of the ground to reduce heat loss into the ground.
Heated water bowls will help keep fresh water available. Outdoor pets require more food during cold weather to help them maintain a healthy body temperature.
The release states that owners should check their pet’s paws after being outside, as ice and snow can accumulate between toes and paw pads may crack and bleed.
Wiping down your pet’s feet and belly helps them dry faster, provides the opportunity to check for injuries, and also removes chemicals such as deicers or antifreeze which are toxic to pets.
If you are concerned about an animal that has been left outside for an extended period of time, notify Animal Control by calling 605-367-7000.