Keeping pets warm in cold weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Keeping pets warm in cold weather


Some of the coldest temperatures of the season have arrived in eastern Iowa.

Experts say as you do your best to stay warm, don't forget about the needs of your pets.

Greg Reints brings his 5-year-old Shih Tzu, Izzy, to the dog park in Waterloo 5 times a week - even on one of the coldest days of the year.

"For her, it's the hot weather that bothers her. She gets kind of lethargic, she doesn't want to go, do, play much or anything. At least with the cold weather, for a little bit, she'll run and play," said Reints.

Animal control workers get lots of calls from concerned neighbors about pets being left out in the cold.

"Lot of dogs that have been left outside, inadequate shelter, don't have access to food, water is frozen, of course, in this type of weather," said Animal Control Officer Gail Donovan.

At the Cedar Bend Humane Society, volunteers still walk the dogs - but in less time and a shorter distance - and they only let them out for the time it takes to clean their kennels.

Then, it's right back inside.

Experts say for most breeds, it's best to bring your dog inside as well on such a cold night.

Make space in the basement or garage, if necessary.

If your dog stays outside, make sure the doghouse isn't too big, there's bedding - straw bales work best, blankets freeze - and plenty of water, which is not frozen.

"If you have a dog that you're trying to keep outside, you have to really make sure they have good shelter. It is so hard on them," said Donovan.

As for cats, experts say to check around your car, because if left outside, cats like to crawl into a warm space.

If you're pets are staying in your garage, make sure there's no anti-freeze around, because that is poison to them.

The Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo has straw bales available if you need them.

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