Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is urging Louisiana residents to prepare for forecasted winter weather conditions over the next couple days.
“While the temperature is expected to warm up above freezing during the day, it is still a good idea to have extra supplies on hand, winterize farm equipment and buildings, and take precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of livestock and pets for this cold snap and future winter weather,” said Strain.
In freezing temperatures, owners should check their livestock and look for signs of stress, illness or injury. Young and older animals are more susceptible to problems during frigid conditions.
Provide plenty of hay, feed and water. Be sure to check water troughs as they can ice over which can lead to the dehydration of animals.
If possible, make adequate shelter available to minimize exposure to cold winds.
If possible, keep companion animals indoors. If this is not feasible, make sure there is a dry shelter available and have warm blankets for your pet.
Provide adequate food and water. Monitor water bowls as they can freeze during cold weather.
Consider a sweater for your short-haired dog.
Outdoor cats searching for warmth will sometimes crawl underneath the hood of a vehicle. Cats can be injured or even killed when the car is started. Before starting up the car in the morning, bang or open the hood of your car so any feline seeking refuge on the engine may flee.
For additional information, go to www.ldaf.la.gov or www.getagameplan.org.