It's Doggone Cold:   Compassion & Protection For Pets



Natural fur coats are not always enough to keep pets warm during extreme weather conditions like the current arctic chill.   Cold temperatures can suppress a pet's immune system, making it more susceptible to illness.   Pediatric and geriatric pets are especially prone to sickness as their bodies fight to stay warm.


Hillsborough County Animal Services offers the following suggestions to keep pets safe during cold snaps:


1.   Have a heart -- bring the animals inside whenever possible.    


2.    Be a pal and lead the pack.   Accompany dogs on potty breaks because they, too, may resist "the call" to go out into the cold.


3.   Insulate outdoor doghouses against the elements including moisture.  (By law, a doghouse must provide such protection with three solid sides and a base, no bare ground or wire gratings.   In severe temperatures, bedding is also required.)


5   Attempt to provide shelter similar shelter for outdoor cats (even if just a temporary box containing blankets).


6.   Know that cats often seek shelter in the warmth of engines or wheel wells.    If your vehicle is not garaged, check before starting the engine!    The alternative could be tragic.


7.   Keep pet ID securely fastened.   Your County registration tag lets neighbors know your lost pet is vaccinated and is safe to shelter until help arrives.  Tags are a free phone call home and easily traced through the County website.     


8.  Consider a donation of clean (even used) towels and bedding to your neighborhood animal shelter.


For more information on pet health or to report animal neglect, please contact Hillsborough County Animal Services at (813) 744-5660 or log on .