Cold weather preparedness for pets

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The SPCA encourages pet owners to bring their pets indoors when the temperature drops. Dog and cats are social animals, they are happiest and healthiest when they are indoors, with their families.

All pets need adequate shelter defined as:

“…an enclosure of at least three sides, a roof and a floor. The enclosure shall be ventilated and must have sufficient room for the animals to move about freely and to lie comfortably.”

  • Be sure the enclosure is able to keep in the animal’s body heat.
  • It is a good idea to put a material that does not freeze, such as a burlap flap over the door of the enclosure to keep the wind out.
  • Consider using a type of bedding that does not freeze, like stray or hay.
  • All animals need access to drinkable water 24 hours a day. Frozen water is not drinkable water.
  • Avoid using metal bowls, metal bowls can collect frost and freeze to an animal’s tongue.
  • In the South, cold weather breeds are not safe from freezing temperatures. They are not acclimated because freezing temperatures are few and far between in the South.
  • For short-haired dogs, consider putting a shirt or sweatshirt on them to keep in body heat.
Information provided by the SPCA of Wake County . For information on how to adopt a pet or to help the nonprofit, call 919-772-2326.


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