WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — You might be asking yourself, “How do I keep my furry family members safe in cold weather?” The City of Wichita Falls Animal Services released some tips to follow as we dip into sub-zero wind chills.

These tips are not only good for the extremely cold weather we will be experiencing but also for regular winter months.

  • Check for cats – Cats will try to find warmth under and in cars. Animal Services suggests hta you try tapping the hood of your bar before starting it. You can also look under the car to check for any cats before starting it.
  • Protect paws – When coming in from outside you will want to check and wipe your dog’s paws to check for injuries and remove any ice or cold debris. You can also purchase paw covers for your pooch.
  • Antifreeze is poisonous – Keep anti-freeze up high and out of reach of pets. You will want to clean up any spills quickly.
  • Make sure you can see your pup on walks – When walking in the dark you will want to be sure that you can see your dog at all times. The best way to do this is to have them wear a flashing collar and/or a hi-vis coat.
  • Check the Chip – Have all pets Micro-chipped and keep the information up-to-date. If you find a stray you can take them to Animal Services, The Humane Society, and some veterinarian offices to check for a chip. Call before you go to make sure the location can check for a chip.
  • Keep your pets snug and cozy – Make sure your pets have a place to sleep away from drafts and off the cold floor.
  • Canine Coats – Wrap up your furry friend before heading into the cold weather with a warm and dry coat.

In addition to keeping your pets safe during the occasional outing, The City of Wichita Falls Animal Services is strongly encouraging all residents to bring animals inside. The cold weather can put animals in extreme danger. If the animals must stay outside you can follow these steps to help them.

  • If you cannot bring your pet in, the city ordinance (Chapter 14-452) requires all citizens who own animals to have adequate shelter. The shelter is defined as:
    • 1) As a structure that shall be fully enclosed on three sides, the structure shall have a solid attached roof with no gaps and shall have a solid floor attached to the structure. The fourth side of the shelter shall contain the entrance to the shelter. Such entrance shall be flexible to allow the animal’s entry and exit and sturdy enough to block entry of wind, rain, hail, sleet, snow, subfreezing temperatures, and any other elements deemed detrimental to the animal’s health and well-being.
  • A covered entry is strongly recommended to keep wind/snow from entering the shelter.
  • Use Straw or hay as bedding as they do not retain moisture and ensure your pets stay dry and warm.
  • Be sure they have fresh drinking water available at all times. Check frequently as freezing water will not be of use to your pet, and they could become dehydrated.

If you have any animal emergencies you can call The City of Wichita Falls Animal Services at 940-761-7824.