Cold Weather Safety for Pets & People

Photo courtesy of NWS and NOAA http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/winter/winter-images/Winter-Dress-Infographic.jpg

Safety Tips for Freezing Temperatures

Extremely cold weather has arrived in Central Wisconsin! Avoiding frostbite and hypothermia involves careful preparation and precautions. Below, find tips from the National Weather Service about how to be prepared for dangerously low temperatures:

  • Adjust Your Schedule: If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, typically the early morning. Try to find a warm spot for your children while waiting for the school bus outside.
  • Protect Your Pets, Livestock and other Property: If you have pets or farm animals, make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold.┬áReport any pets in distress to Marshfield Police Department at 715-387-4394.

“It’s important to keep pets warm when it gets this cold because it does not take long in freezing temperatures like this for a pet to become ill. For cats please keep them inside and dogs should just go out long enough to do their business then right back in,” said Kaitlin Loberg, Certified Vet Tech and Marshfield Area Pet Shelter Manager. “Granted, there are some “heartier” dog breeds who enjoy the cold climate but freezing weather is still very much a danger to them. Also during this weather road and sidewalk salt are used liberally and can cause irritation to a pet’s feet and mouth if they ingest it. It is a good idea to put booties on your dog’s feet or wipe them when they come inside after a walk.”

Loberg said that if you see a pet in need, try to locate an owner. If you cannot find an owner anywhere, please call the Wood County Police Dispatch at 715-387-4394and they will let the Marshfield Ordinance Officers know about the situation. The officers will then make sure that the pet gets help. This is the best way to make sure that the pet gets into the right hands and is well cared for.

  • Take precautions to ensure your water pipes do not freeze.
  • Know the temperature thresholds of your plants and crops.
  • Fill up the tank: Make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded.
  • Dress for the outdoors even if you don’t think you’ll be out much.
  • Update Your Winter Car Survival Kit:
    • Make sure your car survival kit has the following:
      • Jumper cables: flares or reflective triangle are great extras
      • Flashlights: Replace the batteries before the winter season starts and pack some extras
      • First Aid Kit: Also check your purse of bag for essential medications
      • Baby, special needs gear: If you have a baby or family member with special needs, pack diapers and any special formula or food
      • Food: Stock non-perishable food such as canned food and a can opener, dry cereal and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
      • Water: Have at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
      • Basic toolkit: Pliers, wrench, screwdriver
      • Pet supplies: Food and water
      • Radio: Battery or hand cranked
      • Cat litter or sand: For better tire traction
      • Shovel: To dig out snow
      • Ice scraper: Even is you usually park in a garage, have one in the car.
      • Clothes: Make sure you dress for the weather in warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
      • Warmers: Pack extra for body, hand, feet
      • Blankets or sleeping bags: If you get stranded in traffic on a lonely road, you’ll be glad to have it.
      • Charged Cell Phone: Keep a spare charger in your car as well

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