LAFAYETTE — While the shelter suggests bringing all pets indoors during the cold months would be the best option, there are ways to provide for your pets if they must stay outdoors.
You can do that by providing them with the proper shelter which would be some kind of enclosure with a top, a bottom and three sides with dry bedding placed inside for extra warmth. Make sure your pet has plenty of water, that is out of the cold, to prevent it from freezing. Placing a small amount of food in their bowl is suggested to keep their body temperature warm.
Certain pets should not be outside when it gets cold. Those pets include cats, small breed dogs, short-haired dogs, puppies and older dogs. Large dogs with thick-hair, who are in good health condition, are okay to remain outdoors.
"Some breeds have insulated, double coats, and so they are happy with this weather," says Lynn Bourque, the adoption, rescue and foster supervisor at the Lafayette Animal Shelter. "But they still need to be provided with the proper shelter."
The most important thing you can do for your outside pet when it's cold is to pay attention to their behavior. If your pet is curled up in the yard, shivering or looking miserable, then it's time to bring them inside.
The Lafayette Animal Shelter reminds pet owners that animal cruelty is a felony in the state of Louisiana.
"The proper shelter has to be there," says Shelley Dellahoussaye, the supervisor for the Lafayette Animal Shelter. "If it's not, we can issue a cruelty citation and that is a felony."
If you are unsure about whether or not you are providing your pet with the proper shelter, you can call the Lafayette Animal Shelter at (337) 291-5644 They will send an Animal Control Officer out for a wellness check and provide you with what you need to ensure your pet is warm.
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