Animal Shelter Offers Cold Weather Pet Care Tips | Community

Michigan winter is just around the corner and the Gladwin County Animal Shelter would like to share some tips to help keep animals safe and well cared for.

If your dogs and cats live outdoors, be sure to bring them indoors if possible in subzero temperatures. Provide outdoor pets with a dry, draft-free shelter large enough for them to sit and / or lie down comfortably, but not too large for them to lose body heat. The ground should be a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the shelter so that it faces the wind.

Cover the door with heavy plastic or waterproof burlap. Food and water dishes should not be metal, use plastic as their tongues can get caught on metal dishes. Feeding should be increased slightly in extremely cold weather.

Barn cats should also be fed and watered in plastic dishes, which increases the amounts of food in cold weather. Large animals should have a place sheltered from the wind and cold with additional food to warm the body. Keep cool water on hand. Tank heaters are safe and help your large animals to drink regularly.

If your horses are grazing 24/7 without shelter and are not in the stall at night, the blankets allow them to retain body heat in very cold weather. Covers should be removed on days with average winter temperatures.

Pigs, sheep and goats usually lie down at night to sleep, they need clean, warm bedding and a constant source of cool water. All outdoor farm animals should have access to relief from extreme cold and extreme heat. Cold winters also mean animals need regular daily feeding and increased amounts during the winter months. All outdoor farm animals need your regular attention to endure Michigan winters. They need you to thrive and survive.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the animal shelter at 989-426-4579. If they don’t have the answers, they’ll find the information you need.

The Gladwin County Animal Shelter began operations in 1976 and is dedicated to serving the needs of the animals and citizens of Gladwin County. In 2020, the shelter has cared for over 630 animals (despite challenges from COVID-19) and continues to do everything possible to ensure that all healthy and adoptable animals have safe and loving homes. and that the community practices responsible animal guardianship. Follow the shelter on Facebook at

The shelter always accepts donations, which can be dropped off or mailed to 401 W. Cedar Ave., Gladwin, MI 48624. Volunteers can call 989-426-4579 or email [email protected] to find out how they can help at the shelter.

Boyd S. Abbott